Thursday, January 28, 2010

Stress Fractures in Runners

Stress Fractures have been called the “curse of all athletes” because they don’t discriminate between males and females or beginners and experts. According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, a stress fracture is an overuse injury. “It occurs when muscles become fatigued and are unable to absorb added shock. Eventually, the fatigued muscle transfers the overload of stress to the bone causing a tiny crack called a stress fracture.”

Because medical studies have shown that female athletes seem to experience more stress fractures than males, the University of Minnesota conducted a recent study to monitor stress fractures in 39 competitive female runners ages 18-25.

The primary difference, the researchers concluded, between the women who suffered stress fractures and those who hadn’t was the size (and presumable strength) of their calf muscles. Because bones accommodate the muscles around them, it is believed that by increasing the strength of your calf muscle, you will also increase the strength of your bones. The new and increased muscle can also absorb some of the force and impact of running and jumping.

The study suggested that a simple exercise of calf raises (rising onto your toes and lower slowly) 10-12 times, twice daily is enough to increase your calf muscle strength.

For more information about preventing stress fractures, or to arrange a consultation for stress fracture treatment, feel free to contact Empire Health and Wellness Center at 518-690-4406.

To view this study, please follow the link: .

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