If you are one of the many people who suffer from stress fractures, you know how debilitating they can be. Not only do they make it difficult to participate in your normal activities, but they can also take a long time to heal. In this blog post, we will discuss some of the top stress fracture treatments that have been proven to be effective. We will also provide some tips on how to speed up the healing process. So if you are looking for relief from your stress fractures, read on!
- 1 What Is Stress Fracture?
- 2 Types of Stress Fracture Treatment
- 2.1 1. Rest
- 2.2 2. Exercises
- 2.3 3. Ice
- 2.4 4. Heat
- 2.5 5. Compression
- 2.6 6. Electrical Stimulation
- 2.7 7. Surgery
- 2.8 8. Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Medicines
- 2.9 9. Platelet-Rich Plasma Injections
- 2.10 10. Acupuncture
- 2.11 11. Massage Therapy
- 2.12 12. Diet and Nutrition
- 2.13 13. Bone Stimulation
- 2.14 14. Bracing or Taping
- 3 How To Select From Types of Stress Fracture Treatment?
- 4 Conclusion
What Is Stress Fracture?
Stress fractures are tiny cracks in the bone. They happen when there’s more force going through the bone than it can handle. Over time, this can lead to a break in the bone.
Many things can weaken your bones and make them more likely to develop stress fractures, including:
Osteoporosis: This is a condition that causes your bones to become thin and weak.
Repetitive motion: Doing the same motions over and over again can put too much stress on your bones and lead to fractures.
High-impact activities: Activities like running or jumping can put a lot of pressure on your bones and lead to fractures.
Poor nutrition: Eating a diet that’s low in calcium and vitamin D can make your bones weak and more likely to develop stress fractures.
If you have any of these risk factors, it’s important to take steps to protect your bones. Treatment for stress fractures depends on the location and severity of the fracture. In some cases, rest and home care may be all that you need. But in other cases, you may need to see a doctor or even have surgery.
Types of Stress Fracture Treatment
Stress Fracture Treatment usually involves a combination of rest, ice, and other measures to support the bone as it heals.
Here are some of the stress fracture treatments that can help you heal:
The first and most important thing you need to do if you have a stress fracture is to rest. This means taking a break from any activity that’s putting stress on the bone. For some people, this may mean stopping all activity for a few weeks. For others, it may mean reducing activity or switching to low-impact activities. Sometimes rest is all you need to heal a stress fracture.
An important part of stress fracture healing is maintaining muscle strength and flexibility. This can help you avoid future stress fractures. Exercises that focus on a range of motion, flexibility, and balance are especially important. There are many types of exercises you can do at home or in a physical therapy program.
Some of these exercises are:
Heel raises: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold onto a sturdy object for balance. Slowly raise onto your toes and then lower back down. Do 2 sets of 10 repetitions.
Calf stretches: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your hands against a wall. Keeping your heels on the ground, lean forward until you feel a stretch in your calves. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat 3 times.
Hip abductor exercises: Lie on your side with a resistance band around your ankles. Lift your top leg into the air and then lower it back down. Do 2 sets of 15 repetitions.
Ice can help reduce pain and swelling from a stress fracture. Apply ice for 20 minutes at a time, several times a day. Never apply ice directly to the skin — wrap it in a towel first.
Using ice can be helpful in the first few days after you injure yourself. But after that, it’s important to keep using other treatments to support the bone as it heals.
An application of heat can help to increase blood flow to the area, which can promote healing. It can also help to relax muscles and reduce pain. Heat can be applied using a heating pad, hot water bottle, or warm compress. Sometimes, infrared light therapy is also used.
Heat should not be applied to an open wound or directly to the skin. It should also not be used if there is any swelling.
Compression can help to decrease swelling by applying pressure to the affected area. This can be done using an elastic bandage, compression wrap, or compression sock. The bandage should not be too tight, as this could restrict blood flow. Sometimes people may also use a splint to immobilize the affected area.
6. Electrical Stimulation
Electrical stimulation therapy uses electrical currents to stimulate the nerves and muscles. This can help to reduce pain, swelling, and inflammation. It is typically done by a physical therapist or another healthcare provider.
People may use these treatments alone or in combination with other treatments, such as medication or surgery. It is important to speak with a healthcare provider before starting any new treatment.
An operation to repair a stress fracture is only considered if the bone has not healed after several months, or if the fracture is in the hip or shoulder. The type of surgery will depend on the location and severity of the fracture. It may involve using screws, plates, or pins to hold the bone in place while it heals. In some cases, a part of the bone may need to be removed.
After surgery, people will usually need to wear a cast or splint for several weeks. They may also need physical therapy to help them regain strength and mobility. Recovery times vary depending on the extent of the surgery.
8. Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Medicines
An over-the-counter or prescription nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicine (NSAID) can help to reduce pain and inflammation. Common NSAIDs include ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and naproxen (Aleve).
It is important to take these medicines exactly as directed. Taking too much can increase the risk of side effects, such as stomach bleeding. People with certain medical conditions, such as kidney disease, should not take NSAIDs. These medications also should not be taken if you are taking certain other medicines, such as blood thinners.
9. Platelet-Rich Plasma Injections
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is a concentration of platelets that are found in the blood. These platelets help with wound healing and tissue regeneration. PRP injections can promote healing by delivering a high concentration of these cells to the injury site.
PRP injections are typically done by a healthcare provider. The person’s blood is first drawn and then centrifuged to concentrate the platelets. The PRP is then injected into the injured area.
PRP injections are still being studied and it is not clear how effective they are for treating stress fractures.
An ancient Chinese practice, acupuncture involves inserting thin needles into the skin at specific points. This is done to stimulate the body’s natural healing process.
Acupuncture is thought to help by reducing pain and inflammation. It may also promote blood flow and release endorphins, which are natural painkillers.
Acupuncture is generally considered safe when performed by a trained professional. There is a small risk of infection or bruising at the needle site.
11. Massage Therapy
Massage therapy can help to reduce pain, swelling, and inflammation. It can also promote blood flow and relaxation. Massage should be done by a trained professional.
These are some of the more common stress fracture treatments. However, there are many other options available. Be sure to speak with a healthcare provider before starting any new treatment. Massages also should not be done if the person has an open wound.
12. Diet and Nutrition
Eating a healthy diet and getting enough nutrients are important for bone health. Foods that are high in calcium, vitamin D, and other minerals can help to promote bone healing and prevent further injury.
A healthcare provider can help to create a personalized diet plan. They may also recommend supplements if necessary. Some people may need to take a higher dose of vitamins and minerals if they are at risk of developing a stress fracture.
13. Bone Stimulation
Bone stimulation is a treatment that uses electrical or ultrasound waves to promote bone healing. This therapy is typically done after surgery.
Bone stimulation is thought to help by increasing blood flow to the area and promoting the growth of new bone cells. It may also reduce pain and inflammation.
14. Bracing or Taping
Wearing a brace or tape can help to offload weight from the injured area. This can help to reduce pain and promote healing. Commonly used for treating fractures in the shin, knee, or ankle. Bracing and taping also can be used together with other treatments, such as physical therapy.
How To Select From Types of Stress Fracture Treatment?
Selecting from the types of stress fracture treatments available should be done with the help of a health care professional. This is because some treatments may not be suitable for everyone, and some may even cause further injury.
A healthcare professional will be able to assess the individual’s injury and medical history to determine which treatment or combination of treatments is most likely to be effective. They will also be able to guide how to properly use any devices or medications that are prescribed.
It is important to follow a healthcare professional’s instructions when selecting and using stress fracture treatments. Ignoring their advice can delay healing or lead to further injury.
Stress fractures can take several weeks or months to heal completely. Some people may need to take time off work or school to recover. Physical activity should be slowly increased as the fracture heals.
Stress fractures are serious injuries that require proper treatment. A variety of treatments are available to help promote healing and reduce pain. Be sure to speak with a healthcare provider before starting any new treatment.
There are many different stress fracture treatments available. Some of the more common treatments include rest, ice, compression, elevation, NSAIDs, PRP injections, acupuncture, massage therapy, and bone stimulation. A healthcare provider can help to create a personalized treatment plan.
Physical Therapy help patients recover from pain. If you’re experiencing Back pain, Shoulder pain, Knee pain, Neck pain, Elbow pain, Hip pain, or Arthritis pain, a physical therapist at MantraCare can help: Book a physiotherapy session.