Pain In The Top Of Your Foot? You Might Have A Stress Fracture
If you are a runner or an athlete who runs a lot, and you have ongoing pain in the top of your foot, then it is a good idea to see a sports medicine doctor. There is a good chance that this pain is due to a stress fracture, and stress do not heal well without the proper care and treatment. Keep reading to learn more about this common condition.
What is a stress fracture?
A stress fracture is a break in a bone that results not from one single trauma, but from repeated trauma over time. The metatarsal bones, which run along the top of your foot, are the most common bones to experience this type of fracture. Usually, these fractures occur in runners. They're most common in female runners — particularly those who over-train, under-eat, and experience hormone imbalances as a result. However, any runner can experience stress fractures if they run on hard ground to often, introduce speed work to their routine too quickly, or wear the wrong shoes.
How are stress fractures diagnosed?
Your sports medicine doctor will take an x-ray of your foot. If you have a fracture, it should be quite obvious in the x-ray.
How are stress fractures treated?
Since the bone is not displaced in a stress fracture, your doctor won't need to set the bone as they would with other types of fractures. They will likely just give you a walking cast or brace to wear for a few weeks. During this time, you will need to stay off your foot as much as possible and definitely avoid running and training.
An equally important part of treating your stress fracture will be to examine why you developed one in the first place. Your sports medicine doctor will probably want to review your training routine and diet with you. If they suspect you are doing too much, have concerns about your weight or calorie intake, or see something else amiss with your routine, they will make recommendations for when you're able to return to training.
If you are a female who has not been menstruating due to heavy training, that is surely contributing to your stress fracture risk. Your doctor will want you to take steps to get your period back and raise your estrogen levels to prevent future stress fractures.
Don't ignore pain in the top of your foot. A sports medicine doctor can diagnose and treat what is likely a stress fracture.
To learn more, contact a sports medicine doctor near you.