Stress fractures can occur after an athlete has stretched his or her physical boundaries on the track or at the gym, according to pharmacist Marla Ahlgrimm. She notes that many women in middle age experience the same problem as a result of decreasing bone and muscle mass.
Q: How can all people - and women, in particular - decrease their odds of having a stress fracture?
Marla Ahlgrimm: The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons advises people to take extra precautions in order to alleviate the risk of this painful and uncomfortable injury. Alternating activities is the best way to ease the strain on muscles and bones. For example, switch between low-impact exercises such as cycling and swimming. And if swelling occurs, take a few days off to ensure that the problem does not escalate.