Exercise is a great way to improve both physically and mentally, but taking on too much at once may do more harm than good. Repetitive pressure from running, jumping, or even dancing can lead to painful stress fractures in the feet and ankles.
Rest Is Key to Healing Stress Fractures in the Foot
Stress fractures are small cracks in bone tissue caused by repeated or intense physical activity. These hairline breaks in the outer layer of bone can cause a surprising amount of pain. The most common stress fractures of the foot affect the metatarsals, causing pain in the forefoot that worsens when walking or running.
If you feel pain in the ball or arch of your foot, it is vital that you:
- Rest. If you think you might have a stress fracture in your foot or ankle, stop doing any extra physical activity. Avoid putting weight on the affected leg until after you see your podiatrist. If you do not rest your foot, you run the risk of breaking the bone even further, lengthening your recovery time.
- Elevation. When you sit down, elevate your foot above the level of your heart. If your foot is swollen, apply an ice pack to the area.
- Protection. It may take a few weeks for your foot or ankle to heal, so we may recommend shoes or a brace to take the pressure off the leg as you recover.
- Prevention. Once you have recovered from your stress fracture, it is vital that you perform proper conditioning to prevent the condition from recurring. We can advise you on some simple stretches and exercises that can prepare your feet for increased activity.
If you are struggling with a foot injury, the foot and ankle specialists at Greater Washington Advanced Podiatry are here to help. We offer free initial consultations and create a customized treatment plan to get you back on your feet as soon as possible. Simply fill out our online contact form or call us at (301) 515-FEET to set up your first visit.