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2010 / NO.4
2010 / NO.4
Athlete’s Stress Fracture

Stress fracture is one of the most common injury types in sports. It is a reflection of overuse injury. Such injuries are mainly caused by pressures exerted to the most stressful part of the bones through doing chronic exercises, and develop an inflammation to that part. Bony cortex will get thinner and become fragile, and results in structural microscopic damages of the bones. These microscopic damages accumulate continuously, and finally result in fracture. Stress fracture usually appears in tibia, fibula, metatarsus, lumbar, etc. in which it usually happens among athletes of running and jumping, for example long-distance runners.

The symptoms of stress fracture include pains at the affected position. The suffering level of the fracture usually increases according to the time and intenseness of doing physical exercises. When the athlete stops doing physical exercises, the pain will be relieved or even eliminated. During the body check, the athlete obviously feels that the affected positions are tender. In the aspect of diagnostic examination, stress fracture can be further diagnosed by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or X-ray computed tomography (CT).

Most of the treatments of stress fracture focus on limiting the affected position,  avoiding carrying heavy objects and taking enough rest. These treatments can help eliminate inflammation and heal the fracture of the affected position. The rest time varies according to the condition of the injuries. In general, it needs 3 to 6 weeks to get recovered. In this period, the athlete can take physical therapies such as magnetic treatment in order to quicken elimination of the symptoms and healing of the fracture. (Prevention) / Preventive measures include following the principle of gradual practices, performing regular self body checks, detecting the injuries in an early stage and taking treatments as early as possible.