There's an old saying: "prevention is better than cure." That is also true when it comes to stress fractures. However, people who have had one stress fracture tend to have recurring ones. The Department of Orthopedic Surgery at the University of California reports that 60% of people who have a stress fracture have had at least one in the past.
What can you do to prevent stress fractures?
When you exercise, always warm up before and warm down after. Walking and stretching are good ways of doing this. It's also important to have the appropriate footwear for the activity. The best shoes for this is are ones that are softer on the inside and stiffer on the outside.
Follow the 10% rule. Gradually increase your time, speed, and distance by 10% per week when exercising.
It is also important to cross-train so that you don't put a repetitive strain on one part of the body.
If you find that pain and swelling returns, then rest for a few days. During that time, you can follow the RICE method mentioned earlier or try some of the top tips for home pain relief.