Feb 10, 2014

Guest Post: Amanda Howard - Stress Fractures

It's time for our monthly visit from the wonderful, Amanda Howard. Today Amanda will be discussing stress fractures and offers some wonderful advice as well as knowledge that every dancer should have.

Dancers are very prone to stress fractures like our friend Rhiannon. Fortunately I have not had one but it is always a good idea to study up on how to prevent them and how to help them heal faster. Remember that I am not a doctor and I will not claim to be able to treat anything. If you are having serious pain and trouble, always consult a doctor as it could be a worse condition. With that said…enjoy!

You have to pay attention to the signs of a stress fracture. Make sure you know what the symptoms are so that you can treat them accordingly.

You probably have a stress fracture…

…if you have constant pain during dance or during any weight bearing exercise with subsided pain when at rest.

…if you have a throbbing even after the exercise.

…if there is tenderness to the area and a gradual worsening of pain.

Stress fractures are small cracks in the bone due to overuse. They are most common in hips, legs, and feet. Depending on the severity of the fracture, it can take up to 8 weeks of recovery time. When your bones are used frequently, like muscles, they become stronger. However, exercises such as jumping, running, or jogging can cause the bones to become weakened making it more susceptible to fracturing.

The best way to prevent stress fractures is to vary your routine. Make sure that you are not putting too much stress on one area of your body when doing strenuous exercises. I strongly recommend that dancers stay away from running and jogging as it puts too much pressure on the delicate bones in your feet. As dancers, we need to protect these bones. If you do choose to run, wear good running shoes with enough padding and try to use your thighs instead of your lower legs. I also recommend that dancers do interval training and cardio regularly to keep variety in your exercise routine. You don’t want to just do ballet all of the time.

If you do end up getting a stress fracture, you want to make sure you take the necessary time off to let it heal and to prevent further complications in the future. Take coconut oil to maintain strong and healthy ligaments and connective tissue. You can buy extra virgin coconut oil at your local supermarket or you can take coconut oil in capsule form. The correct dosage per day is about 1-2 teaspoons. There are many ways to ingest coconut oil such as, stir fry, coconut macaroons, used in place of butter in baked goods, or just straight up. If you are interested in some recipes you can email me at Amanda.howard@live.com and I can give you a list of fun and tasty coconut oil recipes.

Another great way to help your fracture to heal faster is by using the R.I.C.E. treatment—rest, ice, compression, and elevation. Look for Dr. Christopher’s Complete Tissue and Bone for faster healing. It penetrates deep to allow the bone to heal properly. Calcium Lactate is great for building strong bones. You can find it on Amazon.

Getting back into routine might be exciting but take it slow. You don’t want to have future complications so make sure you are not pushing yourself too hard. Try swimming to build up strength in your muscles and bones. It is an easy and gentle way to get back into action. Make sure you warm up properly before class or any exercise. Do some gentle exercises to get your heart pumping and your body warm without putting stress on the weak bone. Take anti-inflammatories. The best anti-inflammatories are Marcozymes. They are natural and much better for your health than over-the-counter drugs.

One of the best ways to heal faster is to use an M.I.T (mineral infrared therapy). It’s like a lamp that you put over the injured area. It provides relief of muscular aches and pains caused by arthritis and soft tissue injuries, alleviates inflammation and edema from soft tissue injuries, assists in the healing of skin disorders, balances the nervous system, promotes the healing effects on internal organs, and treats bone fractures. Believe me it works great! I use it on my ankles, knees, back, neck, and just about anything.

I hope this helps the next time you find yourself with a stress fracture. Email me anytime with questions or comments; Amanda.howard@live.com. I would love to hear from you!


Dr. Christopher’s Complete Tissue and Bone—



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Thanks, lovelies,
Rhiannon -

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