3 questions to ask yourself if you’re concerned about stress fractures!

The key to stress fractures in runners is to catch them early, before the injury gets any worse. We see a lot of runners in our clinic, and a small number of these have been diagnosed with stress fractures. Actually, we have had some clients with stress fractures or bone injuries who aren’t runners at all!

Here are some reasons that a painful injury may be more than a muscle strain or tendon issue and you should get it assessed to make sure you get the right treatment and advice;

  • Have you increased your training load recently and felt a new pain?
  • This could include increasing the training intensity, volume or speed
  • Having less recovery time between sessions
  • High stress (emotional and physical) combined with poor sleep


  • Do you have a specific pain when walking?
  • This may include pain on the shin bone, heel bone or upper thigh
  • Pain causing you to limp when walking or running
  • Pain that gets worse as you run and lasts after you stop
  • Pain at night
  • Swelling over the painful area


  • Are you included in this at risk population?
  • Female athletes 
  • Low BMI or possibly taking in fewer calories than you need for the training you are doing
  • Menstrual irregularities
  • Previous bony injuries (osteoporosis/ osteopenia/ osteomyelitis)
  • After recently giving birth and getting back to running

There are many different reasons why you may have pain while walking or running, and also be a part of the at risk populations listed above. 

Don’t forget it doesn’t necessarily mean you have a stress fracture if you have the above! It could be another injury, or a bony stress “reaction”, which is when we catch it before the bone weakens into a fracture.

However, if any of the above relates to you, or you are having pain while exercising and you need some help or advice, use the following ways to book an appointment with one of our Chartered Physiotherapists and we will help to diagnose the problem and make a plan to get you back running pain free as soon as possible.

Call us on 0404 49781

Email info@eastcoastphysio.ie

Book online at https://eastcoastphysio.ie/booking/

Written by Mary-Alice Murphy MISCP

Thanks for reading! 😄