With winter making an early appearance this year, residents of Ohio and even Northern Kentucky are prepared for cold temperatures and even snow to strike at any time. The outdoors present good “staying inside and resting” weather, which goes double if you’re recovering from a chronic injury such as stress fractures.
For better or worse, the most important component in stress fracture recovery is patience. Depending on the location and severity of the injury, full recovery may take one to three months or more, during which time you’ll have to take a break from the activities (running, basketball, tennis, etc.) that led to the initial injury. It’s very important, however, that you listen to your doctor and give your bones the full time they need to heal, as restarting too soon could mean re-injury that would lengthen the recovery time (or even force you to start over).
While you’re waiting for your body’s natural healing processes to finish the job, simple home remedies can help speed the process. The RICE method—rest, ice, compression, and elevation—can help reduce foot pain and swelling. Staying off your feet, using ice packs when pain flares up, lightly wrapping (not too tight) the affected area, and/or getting those feet raised above heart-level can all help ease your discomfort when symptoms strike. Anti-inflammatory medications and painkillers such as ibuprofen, if approved by your doctor, can also help.
As soon as you suspect stress fractures—typical symptoms include aching, swelling, tenderness, and pain in the feet and ankles, especially during periods of athletic activity—start RICE therapy immediately and call the experts at Family Foot and Ankle Center, Inc. We’ll take digital X-rays and complete a full evaluation to determine the source of your pain and devise the proper treatment plan. Call (513) 728-4800 or (859) 282-1572 to schedule an appointment at one of our six Greater Cincinnati locations.