Podiatrist in San Leandro, CA
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Raiders cornerback D.J. Hayden, Oakland’s top pick in the 2013 draft, has struggled to get healthy this season—his second as a pro. Stress fractures in his foot sidelined him this summer, forcing surgery. Pro athletes are hardly the only ones susceptible to this condition, however—it’s also found frequently in recreational runners, weekend warrior athletes, and elderly people with thinning bones.

Treatment for Stress Fractures

These small cracks in your bones are usually an overuse injury caused by frequent, repeated force on your bones—especially your feet, which bear the brunt of your body weight and more with every step. When muscles get tired and can no longer adequately absorb the shock of repeated strikes, the stress gets transferred to the bones, which eventually weaken, crack, and develop hairline fractures.

So how do you treat stress fractures? The good news is that, for most people, medical intervention is not required. The bad news, however, is that it takes a lot of rest and a lot of time—often four to six weeks of completely stopping the physical activity that led to the injury. For those of us who love to run, play pickup basketball, get out on the tennis court, or enjoy any other regular athletic activity, six weeks of inactivity may seem like torture.

However, it’s critical that you take a break. There’s no way around it: when the bones in your feet have cracked and weakened and you keep applying pressure and stress, they just can’t heal. You need to give your body the time it needs to fully repair and treat stress fractures, or the pain will only get worse. Even if symptoms improve quickly and the pain is low enough for you to tolerate resuming activity, you must be disciplined and allow the healing process to be completed.

In the meantime, stay active by trying activities that don’t impact the feet so significantly. Swimming and yoga are both good choices here. Once you’ve fully healed, re-start your activities slowly and gradually build back up over several weeks.

We know you want to get back on the field or the trail as quickly as possible. If you’re dealing with persistent pain, give Foot Doctor of the East Bay a call at (510) 483-3390. Our experts serve the entire Bay Area with the highest quality foot and ankle care. We’ll examine your injury and help you heal as quickly and completely as possible.

Photo credit: Greyerbaby

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