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How Orthotics Can Help with Stress Fractures

You train, you run, you take care of your body — how could you have a broken bone? It turns out, the very thing that makes you a great athlete may be the cause of your stress fracture. Intense, repetitive training causes constant stress on your bones, and they can only take so much before something gives.

Often, the best way to prevent or treat a stress fracture is with orthoses. Here at Ortho Engineering, Inc., we design custom orthotics to heal your injury and to relieve pressure and realign your body mechanics to avoid new ones in the future. Here’s how orthotics can help with stress fractures. 

Understanding stress fractures

Anyone can sustain a stress fracture, but athletes are most susceptible, especially runners. A stress fracture is an overuse injury, so anytime you amp up the intensity of your workout or lengthen the duration, you may be at risk.

The most common bones involved are in your lower leg and foot, affecting your:

You may not know you have a stress fracture the moment it happens. Unlike an acute fracture that happens due to an obvious injury or accident, stress fractures aren’t as easy to detect, but an X-ray can let you know for sure.

You may feel tenderness or pain, even at rest, and you may notice some inflammation. Participating in your sport might be painful, and everyday activities may cause discomfort as well.

Are you at risk for a stress fracture?

If you’re a runner or an athlete whose sport requires a lot of running, like basketball or soccer, then yes, you’re at risk for a stress fracture. Other factors that increase the likelihood of getting a stress fracture include:

Most stress fractures will heal if given enough time and rest (typically 6-8 weeks). To keep your bones stable and to relieve the pressure on them, you may benefit from the help of orthotics.

Orthotics and stress fractures

When most people think of orthotics, they think of shoe inserts, but that’s only the tip of the iceberg. Orthotics include any device used to give you extra support and correct the function of your limbs, whether you’re overcoming an injury or dealing with a deformity. 

If you’ve had a gait analysis and been told you have structural issues such as overpronation, fallen arches, bowleggedness, knee instability, or heel-strike problems, orthotics can help you solve the issue and prevent a stress fracture.

If you already have a stress fracture, orthotics step in to facilitate the healing process by stabilizing your injury and allowing it to rest.

Sometimes all it takes is an insert in your shoe to properly align your feet, ankles, and legs. But don’t be fooled by the off-the-shelf versions. They may give you a little extra cushion, but they won’t treat your injury. Our experts at Ortho Engineering, Inc. design your orthotics to correct your unique musculoskeletal imbalances.

Braces are another type of orthotic that can help you rehabilitate from a stress fracture, especially if your leg and/or ankle is involved. From removable casts to mechanical braces, orthoses target your specific injury and help it heal completely.

Don’t ignore your stress fracture and allow it to progress into a full-blown fracture that will be even more painful and sideline you longer. If your doctor recommends orthotics to help you prevent or rehab from a stress fracture, we can help. Call any of our nine locations throughout Southern California to find out more about custom orthotics for stress fractures.

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