Track & Field Athletes More Prone to Overuse Injuries

There can be several different causes as to why a stress fracture occurs in track and field athletes. Dr. Harary notes some of these factors: “Rapid increases in the frequency, intensity, and/or type of training does not allow the body to adapt to the new activity and can predispose to stress injuries. Most of the time, an athlete will notice pain before a stress fracture develops (when there is only bruising or “stress reaction” to the bone).” Athletes should do their best to identify this reaction before it has the chance to develop into something worse.

Most importantly, running through pain is never a good idea. “Seeking medical treatment when pain starts, and not trying to push through, can help prevent more serious injuries from developing.” If you’ve already developed a stress fracture, there are treatment options. “Treatment typically involves avoiding the aggravating activity. Sometimes athletes are placed into protective devices such as a long leg air cast or a walking boot. Rarely is casting or surgery needed.” To avoid letting it get this far, though, stay vigilant of the signs, and never push your body harder than it can handle.

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