Stress fractures occur when bone, typically in the lower extremities, is repeatedly subjected to mechanical stress, resulting in microscopic fractures. Stress fractures are common among military recruits, athletes, and runners because they frequently occur when the frequency or degree of physical activity is significantly increased. Fatigue reaction stress fractures and insufficiency reaction stress fractures are the two types of stress fractures.
Stress fractures can be caused by a variety of factors, including:
- Specific sports. People who participate in high-impact sports such as track and field, basketball, tennis, dance, or gymnastics are more likely to suffer from stress fractures.
- Enhanced activity. Stress fractures are common in people who make a sudden transition from a sedentary lifestyle to an active training regimen, or who rapidly increase the intensity, duration, or frequency of training sessions.
- Sex. Women, particularly those with irregular or absent menstrual periods, are more likely to develop stress fractures.
- Foot issues. Stress fractures are more common in people who have flat feet or high, rigid arches. Worn footwear adds to the problem.
- Bones have weakened. Conditions like osteoporosis can weaken your bones and leads to more stress fractures occurences.
- Stress fractures in the past. If you’ve had one or more stress fractures, you’re more likely to get more.
- Nutrient deficiency. Eating disorders, as well as a lack of vitamin D and calcium, can increase the likelihood of stress fractures.