The stereotypical image of a bone fracture is one of immediacy and obviousness — something happens, you feel the bone break, you can see that the bone is broken, and you feel intense pain. Yet not all fractures act that way, so if you are having pain that you can’t explain, getting checked out is essential. However, if your regular doctor is not available, you might shrug off the pain for a while. That, unfortunately, can lead to worse issues.
Feeling It in Your Bones
At issue is something called a stress fracture, which you may have heard of but never experienced. These are fractures within the bone that are not full fractures — they don’t break the bone fully. Instead, the bone cracks partially, so the body part that’s been injured looks almost normal, save for maybe a little swelling. The bone hurts, but not constantly.
Stress fractures are very common in feet and legs because the fractures often result from overuse. When you place undue stress on your feet and legs through running, for example, without letting your body recover, your bones can develop a condition known as bone fatigue. This condition gradually deteriorates as you continue to stress out your legs and feet. Eventually, small cracks appear in those bones. If you let the condition go on long enough, those small cracks can spread and eventually cause the bone to fully break.
Keep in mind that you don’t have to be a marathon runner to overwork your body. If you start feeling pain in your bones, especially your feet and legs, that gets worse the more you move but gets better the more you rest, you need an x-ray. Because it’s a lot easier to heal a stress fracture than it is to heal a fully broken bone, you need that x-ray fast.
If your regular doctor isn’t available, try going to a local urgent care clinic. Many of these can take and interpret x-rays onsite, allowing you to get fast treatment. If you have intermittent bone pain, get help now.
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