What are Stress Fractures?

Stress fractures are less common injuries but are responsible for slow recovery times and time off sport and training. Statistics point that fractures only account for up to 20% of all sporting injuries and is sport dependent. Athletes at risk are commonly those that undergo repetitive use of arms/ legs, are involved in contact sports or alternatively do ballet and gymnastics.

Bone fractures come from strain in the bone which commonly present as tiny cracks. If left unmanaged, this can lead on to bigger cracks and even complications such as complete breaks in the bone.

Risk Factors for Bone Stress Fractures

  • Poor Nutrition Intake
  • Low Bone Density
  • Hormonal Disturbances and abnormalities
  • Sudden Increase in training intensity
  • Poor Muscle Flexibility
  • Poor Joint Ranges of Movement
  • Poor bony alignment

Most Frequent Sites for Stress Fractures

  • Tibia (Shin)
  • Talar Dome (Ankle)
  • Vertebra (Spine)
  • Metatarsals (Toes)

Signs and Symptoms of Stress Fractures

  • Localized swelling and tenderness
  • Pain on activity and loading
  • Sudden pain at the beginning of activities especially with repetitive or weight bearing activities.

Our advice to athletes undergoing vigorous training is to always have a plan for nutrition, recovery and off season. Stress-induced fractures are most common with athletes undergoing intensive unaccustomed training.

There are certain fractures that are considered High risk, these fractures should not be taken lightly as they often require surgical intervention, or proper management as they can lead to disability and future complications.

If you are in need of a management plan or are unsure about the pain you have been encountering, feel free to book an appointment at Perth Wellness Centre or Call (08) 9321 1964


Florencio-Silva R., Sasso GR, Sasso-Cerri E., Simoes MJ, Cerri P.S. Biology of bone tissue: Structure, function, and factors that influence bone cells. Biomed Res Int. 2015;2015:421746.

Bennell K., Matheson G., Meeuwisse W., Brukner P. Risk factors for fractures. Sports Med. 1999;28(2):91-122.