The birds are chirping and the weather is becoming beautiful. We all want to get out and get as much of those rays of sunshine as we can. Many people start ramping up their running this time of the year, as the weather gets nicer. What could possibly be bad about that? The answer is stress fractures! Stress fractures arise in our feet when patients do not get the proper support they need, or they experience overuse of the foot. When we run or exercise our body has small intrinsic muscles in the feet that absorb the stress in the feet. Whenever this stress becomes too much, these muscles fatigue and the bones start absorbing this stress. If this stress is too much for a certain bone then this can result in a fracture. This stress can be a result of activities that the body is not used to or simply wearing an old pair of shoes that don’t provide the proper support. A stress fracture doesn’t have to be caused by running either! A patient with a deformity in the foot can cause abnormal stress to a bone just when walking causing these fractures! To reduce the chance of having these issues you might just need a new pair of shoes, an insert to go in your shoes, or the proper training to build your muscle up for the level of exercise you are interested in. An orthotic is a device that goes in your shoes to reduce pronation or supination forces on the feet to provide as close to a neutral gait as possible. Simple devices like these can prevent stress fractures and other injuries. Your podiatrist can also instruct you on the proper shoe for your foot type. If you happen to develop a stress fracture you will need rest, ice, and approximately 6-8 weeks of immobilization, so take the proper steps today to prevent these injuries and come on in to see us if you have any questions.