A stress fracture is a common sports injury caused by overuse. When the muscle becomes fatigued and is unable to absorb any more shock, it transfers the excess stress to the bone, causing a tiny crack. This tiny crack is the stress fracture.
What causes stress fractures?
Typically, stress fractures are overuse injuries that occur after the muscle around the bone is fatigued. But it can also be caused by the impact of an unfamiliar surface (going from dirt to concrete), improper equipment (running barefoot or in shoes that are worn or not appropriate for running), or increased physical stress (going from sedentary to running miles a day).
Though they can occur anywhere in the body, most occur in the weight-bearing bones of the lower leg and foot. More than half are in the lower leg. Studies have found stress fractures to be most common in athletes that participate in tennis, track and field, basketball, or gymnastics. It’s also been noted that female athletes tend to be more susceptible, possibly due to other factors that contribute to a decrease in bone mass, which causes an increase in her chances of sustaining a stress fracture.