Bone Stress Injuries in Runners x Achieve Podiatry
Are you an avid runner?
Chances are you’ve heard of a bone stress injury and questioned what it is, how it occurs, and how to prevent it.
What is it
A bone stress injury is a maladaptive process resulting in the gradual reduction in a bones structural integrity over time.
These injuries occur along a 3-stage continuum:
- Stress reaction
- Stress fracture
- Complete fracture
In essence this continuum is a sliding scale, and each grade represents the amount of structural deformation present.
How it occurs
Loading a bone through weight-bearing activities (eg. running) results in micro-damage to the bone which signals for new bone formation.
If adequate recovery between weight-bearing activities occurs this micro-damage is repaired and is essential for the development of strong, healthy bones.
If inadequate recovery occurs, this micro-damage compounds and results in structural deformation, which if not addressed may then progress along the previously mentioned continuum.
How to prevent it
- Ensure you’re fuelling your body adequately. Your energy consumption (caloric intake) should match the energy demands of your training.
- Closely monitor your running volume and increase this gradually. An increase of more than 10-30% weekly increases your risk of developing a bone stress injury.
- If you’re already performing sessions with high intensity (fast-pace), ensure you’re not neglecting easy, slow-paced running in your training week.
- Include strength training in your routine. Muscular strength plays an important role in dissipating the stress placed on bones.
Our friends at Achieve Podiatry have written part 2 to this post. Be sure to check it out here.