Running gets the blood in your body pumping and releases endorphins that have been proven to enhance mood, but overtraining can cause a variety of injuries. That ache in the lower part of your leg or foot may be more than just muscle soreness, as stress fractures are common for runners and athletes. What sometimes starts as a slight pain can quickly turn into persistent pain that can hinder performance. Here's what you need to know about stress fractures and how to find relief in the event one occurs.
What Causes a Stress Fracture?
Stress fractures are categorized as small splits on the bone and typically develop in the lower regions of the leg or foot. Overuse or intensive training are the most common causes of stress fractures, especially if training frequencies have been suddenly increased like for athletes training for an upcoming marathon. By taking the proper precautions, however, you can reduce the risk of this injury.
How to Prevent Stress Fractures
Instead of increasing your workout frequency or intensity all at once, one of the best ways to protect against stress fractures is to slowly build up to a more difficult workout. Doing so allows the bones and muscles to gain the strength needed for optimal performance without putting too much strain on the bone. While working out, wearing the right footwear can also make a world of difference. If you’re a runner, choose a pair of running shoes with extra cushion and support. Wearing garments on your legs, such as compression socks, has also been proven to reduce the risk of injury during training.
Stress Fracture Treatment
Stress fractures aren’t always easy to diagnose, and one of the best things you can do for your body is to seek medical attention for proper diagnosis and treatment. In addition to talking to your doctor, the RICE protocol has been proven to assist in recovery.
It’s likely you’ve heard of the RICE protocol before because it's one of the best methods to care for injuries. This treatment includes:
- Rest - Giving your foot or leg the time it needs to repair is important. So as much as you are able, stay off your feet and reduce (or take a break) from your usual training.
- Ice - Using ice on the affected area is one way to prevent the swelling that can come with a stress fracture. Never apply ice directly to the skin; instead, wrap it in a cloth to create a barrier.
- Compression - Swelling can become a major pain with these types of injuries, and multiple methods should be used to control it. Using compression socks for stress fractures is useful because the added pressure to the afflicted area increases blood flow to reduce fluid build-up.
- Elevation - Elevating a stress fracture can also help to reduce swelling and promote fluid drainage. The best way to do this is to lie down and prop the leg up above the heart using a pillow or other cushion.
The Best Compression Socks for Stress Fractures
Compression socks are a great tool for preventing stress fractures, especially when paired with the right training techniques and workout gear. When a stress fracture does occur, compression socks will help alleviate swelling, so you can get back on your feet sooner. Finding a pair that is comfortable enough for prolonged wear but also delivers the right amount of pressure is crucial. Lasso’s athletic compression socks utilize medical-grade compression of 15-25 mmHg, making it perfect for all-day use without compromising movement capabilities. Lasso’s socks also feature TrueCompression technology which prevents lactic acid build-up that causes swelling.
Don’t let a stress fracture take you out of the game. Prevent injury and aid recovery with athletic compression socks.