How can a stress fracture be prevented?

These steps can help prevent a stress fracture:

  • Once you feel pain, stop exercising.
  • See your doctor as soon as possible if you have a persistent problem with your feet, ankles, or toes.
  • Use the correct sports equipment.
  • Wear the proper running shoes.
  • Add new physical activities. For example, switch running with swimming.
  • Start new sports activities slowly, and gradually increase the time, speed, and distance.
  • Practice strength training to help prevent early muscle fatigue, and to help prevent the loss of bone density that comes with aging.
  • Follow a healthy diet full of calcium and vitamin D foods that will keep your bones strong.
  • If you decide to increase your activity level, ask your doctor for a recommendation of how much to add and when to add it.
  • If pain or swelling returns, stop the activity and rest for a few days. If pain continues, see your doctor.
  • Check with your doctor before starting an exercise program or before taking a job that will involve a higher level of physical activity than you are used to.
  • Follow all the rules your doctor gives you.

Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy