Although much of what has been discussed here also applies to athletes, dancers or runners, they have some more specific needs when it comes to avoiding and treating stress foot fractures. There are three main factors that are important for preventing fractures:
- Proper muscle strength
- Proper footwear
- Proper warm up
When you run or dance, you are putting even more pressure on your legs and feet. Every time your foot hits the ground, shock waves travel up your foot and leg.
On the previous page, we discussed the importance of increasing distance by about 10% every week. However, if you run or train regularly, some studies suggest that every 3-4 weeks you should drop down by 10%-20%, then build up again. This allows the bones to remodel properly and avoids putting them through extra stress.
It is also important that you do strength training to improve muscle strength. Many studies show that the muscles which surround a bone have an impact on its strength and size.
This is just as important for dancers as well.
Dancers are also prone to their partners stepping on their feet. This is a leading cause of foot fractures in dancers. So, if you are practicing a new routine, make sure to start slowly and gradually build up the tempo.
In all these cases, proper rest is needed to make a speedy recovery and to "get back on your feet again."