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Suggest exercises to prevent stress fractures

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Answered by

Orthopaedic Surgeon, Joint Replacement
Practicing since : 1997
Answered : 1619 Questions
I have a stress fracture of the second metatarsal in my right foot.
It's healing ok but what kind of exercises will help prevent this in the future? I have been wearing a boot for 6 weeks. How can I strengthen my foot now that I'm feeling better. It was extremely painful when it happened and I saw a Podiatrist for X-rays and treatment. I've rested, iced and kept it elevated
Posted Wed, 13 Aug 2014 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. Mukesh Chugh 24 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Bone strength needs to be maintained

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for posting
I have gone through query carefully and understand your concern. Stress fractures often are the result of increasing the amount or intensity of an activity too rapidly. They also can be caused by the impact of an unfamiliar surface (a tennis player who has switched surfaces from a soft clay court to a hard court).

To prevent stress fracture my suggestion would be-
1. When participating in any new sports/physical activity, set incremental goals. For example, do not immediately set out to run five miles a day; instead, gradually build up your mileage on a weekly basis.
2. Cross-training - Instead of running every day to meet cardiovascular goals, run on even days and do some strength training and flexibility exercises on odd days to the mix for the most benefit.
3. Maintain a healthy diet. Take balanced diet rich in calcium (1000mg/day) and vitamin D (1000 i.u. /day) along with vitaminB12, B6.
4. Use the proper equipment. Do not wear old or worn running shoes.
5. If pain or swelling occurs, immediately stop the activity and rest for a few days. If continued pain persists, see an orthopaedic surgeon.

You may get BMD test done to assess the bone strength and based on the report further treatment may be started.
It is important to remember that if you recognize the symptoms early and treat them appropriately, your suffering will be reduced.

Hope this information suffices and I shall be glad to answer any further query.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Suggest exercises to prevent stress fractures 9 minutes later
What specific exercises can I do to strengthen that foot?
Answered by Dr. Mukesh Chugh 22 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Calf raises are effective exercises to strengthen

Detailed Answer:
It’s good to see you
My suggestion for muscle strengthening would be-
1.Swimming, cycling or running in a pool may help. All of these activities give you a good aerobic workout while protecting the injured area. Aim for at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise three times per week.
2.Calf raises are effective exercises to strengthen your calf muscles of your lower leg. They can be performed by standing on a step with just your toes on the step and the heel of your foot hanging off. Simply rise up on your toes as high as you can, hold the peak position for one second and return to the starting position to complete one repetition.
Reverse calf raises work the anterior tibialis muscle at the front of the lower leg. To perform, stand on the step with your heels on the surface and toes hanging off; then raise your toes up as high as you can toward your calf, hold the peak position for a second, and return to the starting position to complete one repetition.
In addition you may do in-and-out foot exercises, which involve pushing with the inside and the outside of your foot against a person's resistance or resistance from a solid object such as a chair.

Take care and wishing you good health
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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