Self-management

Lifestyle and home remedies

It's important to give the bone time to heal. This may take several months or even longer. In the meantime:

  • Rest. Stay off the affected limb as directed by your doctor until you are cleared to bear normal weight.
  • Ice. To reduce swelling and relieve pain, your doctor might recommend applying ice packs to the injured area as needed — up to three or four times a day for 15 minutes at a time.
  • Resume activity slowly. When your doctor gives the OK, slowly progress from nonweight-bearing activities — such as swimming — to your usual activities. Resume high-impact activities, such as running, gradually, increasing time and distance slowly.

Prevention

Simple steps can help you prevent stress fractures.

  • Make changes slowly. Start any new exercise program slowly and progress gradually.
  • Use proper footwear. Make sure your shoes fit well and are appropriate for your activity. If you have flat feet, ask your doctor about arch supports for your shoes.
  • Cross-train. Add low-impact activities to your exercise regimen to avoid repetitively stressing a particular part of your body.
  • Get proper nutrition. To keep your bones strong, make sure your diet includes adequate calcium, vitamin D and other nutrients.