Have you been experiencing pain in your lower leg that just won’t go away? It could be a tibial stress fracture, a common injury among athletes and runners. If left untreated, it can lead to more serious complications. So, what can you do to heal and prevent further damage?
Symptoms and Diagnosis of Tibial Stress Fractures
A tibial stress fracture is a small crack in the tibia bone, which is located in the lower leg. It is a common injury among athletes, particularly runners and jumpers, and can occur as a result of overuse or repetitive stress on the bone.
If you suspect you have a tibial stress fracture, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Your doctor may order an X-ray, Bone Scan or MRI to confirm the diagnosis. Rest and immobilization of the affected limb is typically the first line of treatment, and it is important to avoid any activity that causes chronic pain.
Physiotherapy Program for Tibial Stress Fractures
In addition to rest and immobilization, physiotherapy can be an important part of the recovery process for a tibial stress fracture. A physiotherapist will work with you to develop an individualized treatment plan to help you heal and regain the full function of the affected limb.
The physiotherapy treatment may include:
1. Gentle Range of motion exercises: The physiotherapist will guide you through a series of exercises to help keep your joints and muscles moving, which can help to prevent stiffness and improve flexibility.
2. Soft Tissue mobilization: The physiotherapist may use manual therapy techniques such as massage or mobilization to help release any tightness or tension in the muscles and soft tissues surrounding the stress fracture.
3. Strength and conditioning exercises: As you start to heal, the physiotherapist will guide you through a series of exercises to help you regain strength and endurance in the affected limb.
4. Gait and Biomechanical analysis: the physiotherapist will evaluate your walking or running pattern and make any necessary recommendations to improve your technique and reduce the risk of future injury.
5. Education and advice on how to prevent future injury: The physiotherapist will provide you with advice on how to prevent future injuries, such as appropriate stretching and strengthening exercises, proper shoe wear, and tips for pacing and building up your training gradually.
Ultrasound Therapy for Stress Fractures
Another helpful treatment technique for stress fractures is Ultrasound therapy. Ultrasound therapy is a form of physical therapy that uses high-frequency sound waves to promote healing and reduce pain.
When a stress fracture occurs, the bone is damaged but not broken completely, and the body starts to heal the injury by laying down new bone cells, but this process can take a long time and also can be painful. Ultrasound therapy can be used to speed up the healing process by stimulating osteoblast (cells that help to lay down new bone) and reducing pain associated with a stress fracture.
You may also be recommended by your physiotherapist or medical doctor to get an Exogen system, which is a portal self-applied ultrasound device that is used daily. This is to help speed up the process of bone healing, especially complicated and delayed fractures.
Ultrasound therapy is a non-invasive, safe and effective treatment for stress fractures. It is typically administered by a physiotherapist, who will apply a gel to the affected area and then use a handheld ultrasound device to deliver the sound waves. Each treatment usually lasts between 5-15 minutes. During self-administer ultrasound via an Exogen system, treatment times last 20min.
What To Expect During During Recovery
During the healing process of stress fractures, it is also important to work on a range of motion and strength exercises, as well as to avoid activities that put excessive stress on the affected bone. A physiotherapist will work with you to develop an individualized treatment plan that may include ultrasound therapy, shockwave therapy, exercises, and education on how to prevent future injury.
Overall, Physiotherapy in Milton can be an effective treatment for a tibial stress fracture. It can help to alleviate pain and improve the healing process, as well as help prevent future injury and regain full function of the affected limb. It is important to work closely with a physiotherapist to ensure a proper treatment plan is established and followed.