Yes, we know that the “Keep Calm” meme has been overused by now. You can find fake posters telling you to keep calm while doing everything from eating chocolate to killing zombies. But when we say to keep calm to prevent stress fractures, we’re actually providing some real advice.
The hairline cracks of a stress fracture most commonly result from a too stressful change in a person’s activity. This can mean either suddenly starting a new activity, too rapidly increasing the intensity of a standard activity, or abruptly changing the environment the activity is performed on (going from running on trails to pavement, for example).
In each of these cases, one’s bones are conditioned to a certain level or type of activity. Pushing change too quickly can result in additional stress on the bones that you’re not yet ready for, causing stress fractures to form.
We know it can be exciting to start something new, or sometimes there might be lofty goals you’re hoping to achieve by a certain time. But trust us: patience and a calm approach to improvement are the best way to make sure your body is able to take what you want to dish out upon it. Starting low and increasing intensity 10 % per week is a good standard. It also pays to cross train as a way of building up overall conditioning.
For more advice on how to prevent stress fractures, or guidance recovering from any kind of sports injury, Dr. Kevin Powers is here to help. Contact our Bloomington office at (812) 333-4422 to schedule an appointment.