Causes of Foot Stress Fractures

Stress fractures are tiny cracks in the bones that can result from excessive pounding or pressure and repeated trauma. One of the most common causes of stress fractures is engaging in high-impact activities. Sports like gymnastics, track and field  and tennis, which involve constant pounding on hard surfaces, can put tremendous stress on the bones of your feet. Another significant cause is making sudden changes in the duration, frequency, or intensity of physical activity. Pushing your body too hard without adequate rest and recovery often leads to stress fractures. Wearing ill-fitting or worn-out running shoes without proper foot support can also contribute to stress fractures. Sometimes, anatomical abnormalities like flat feet or high rigid arches can increase your risk of developing stress fractures. Repetitive stress from exercises, especially in sports, can weaken bones over time, making them more susceptible to stress fractures. If you have had a stress fracture in the past, you may be at higher risk of experiencing another one. Women are more prone to stress fractures from osteoporosis, low bone density, irregular menstruation, and poor nutrition. Symptoms of stress fractures can be tricky to diagnose, as they may not show up on X-rays in the early stages. However, common symptoms can include a dull, generalized pain, swelling, and tenderness in a specific spot. This discomfort may worsen during activities and can persist even at rest if left untreated. If you suspect you may have a foot stress fracture, it is suggested that you make an appointment with a podiatrist for an exam and treatment options. 

Activities where too much pressure is put on the feet can cause stress fractures. To learn more, contact Scott Samera, DPM from Samera / Foot + Ankle. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep your pain free and on your feet.

Dealing with Stress Fractures of the Foot and Ankle

Stress fractures occur in the foot and ankle when muscles in these areas weaken from too much or too little use.  The feet and ankles then lose support when walking or running from the impact of the ground. Since there is no protection, the bones receive the full impact of each step. Stress on the feet can cause cracks to form in the bones, thus creating stress fractures.

What Are Stress Fractures?

Stress fractures occur frequently in individuals whose daily activities cause great impact on the feet and ankles. Stress factors are most common among:

  • Runners                                  
  • People affected with Osteoporosis
  • Tennis or basketball players
  • Gymnasts
  • High impact workouts


Pain from the fractures occur in the area of the fractures and can be constant or intermittent. It will often cause sharp or dull pain with swelling and tenderness. Engaging in any kind of activity which involves high impact will aggravate pain.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Lake City and Branford, FL . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Dealing with Stress Fractures of the Foot and Ankle

Connect With Us