FYI Friday: Stress Fractures.

Today I’m linking up with Jen over at Pretty Little Grub for some FYI Friday on this beautiful and sunny Friday! It is suppose to reach TWENTY degrees here today (Celsius for those American readers 😉 ) and I am stoked! I mean I wish I could run in this heat wave and all, but I am still happy to be able to absorb some Vitamin D today!


I am totally overwhelmed with the lovely comments and advice in THIS post where I talked about my recent diagnosis of a stress fracture in my foot. It turns out a lot of you have had a similar injury and have bounced back stronger than ever so I was incredibly happy to read that! I thought I would share some fun facts about stress fractures, because runners are one population that tends to get them a whole heck of a lot.

  • Runners get more stress fractures than any other sport combined. (Source)


Oh, and they are also the group of people that is most likely to be in denial about it. *Anecdotal evidence

  • FEMALE RUNNERS!! Alert!! Those with irregular menstrual cycles are wayyyyy more likely to incur a stress fracture than those with a regular cycle. (Source)
  • About 25% of stress fractures occur in the fibula, tibia, and metatarsals. (SourceBased on the location of my stress fracture, I have found this to be super accurate. More than 50% of all stress fractures occur in the lower body!


  • Canadian adults (ages 19-50) have a recommended daily intake of Calcium of 1000mg, while patients with stress fractures are encouraged to consume at least 1500mg. (SourceIt is also recommended to increase Vitamin D intake to above the recommended 600 IU.


  • Less than half of stress fractures can be detected with an X-Ray. If you are looking for a clear diagnosis, an MRI or bone scan has a better chance of conclusively finding a stress fracture. (Source)
  • Larger and stronger calf muscles reduce the risk for tibial stress fractures significantly as well as stress fractures in general! (Source) Additionally, tight calves put one at risk for extensor muscle strains in the foot.
  • It was initially thought that the first metatarsal (the big toe one) would bear the most force when running but after THIS study, it was shown that the second and third metatarsals actually bear the most force for their size. The diagram below explains pretty well why metatarsal fractures are so common… look where all of the weight goes when we’re running!

Screen Shot 2015-04-16 at 11.06.19 AM

  • A jump from cushioned running shoes straight into barefoot running is a recipe for a stress fracture. If you are looking for a more minimalist shoe, adjustments may need to be made to running form first. (Source) My doctor straight up asked me if I was wearing minimalist shoes while running because he said he has had SO MANY runners injured after attempting a more barefoot style run.

Head on over to Pretty Little Grub for some more FYI Friday, you can also check out Jen’s series on Nutrient Requirements for Runners!! I’ll be in the pool today working on healing my stress fracture with some non-impact swimming.


What sports did you play when you were younger?? It turns out gymnasts and track peeps have a high incidence of stress fractures… I was neither.

Do you still drink milk? I used to have a glass with lunch and dinner when I was growing up but now I can’t remember the last time I just drank a glass of milk!


  1. Thanks for sharing! I thought it was interesting to read about the calf muscle part… I think it just goes to show how important cross-training is and getting in some resistance exercise to build leg muscle. I hope you heal quickly!

  2. I fell behind on blog reading last week and I knew you hurt your foot on the treadmill from landing weirdly, but I didn’t realize you had a SF diagnosis! So did the land cause it, or was it already there? I have to go catch up on your posts to see.

    1. It was already there, that was just the “breaking point” so to speak! The pain just got worse from there, so it was the speed work that did me in and was the cracking point!

  3. I’m always surprised I didn’t get a stress fracture in my lower legs where it’s most common…now I think it’s probably because of my calves 🙂 Hah. I always drank milk growing up (I drink non-dairy now most of the time; I have cream in my coffee!!, I don’t think that was the huge concern. I think overall caloric intake is important and being sure to pair calcium with Vitamin D for absorption. Research shows it may be better to get calcium from other sources like dark leafy greens, canned salmon and almonds. I think yogurt is a good option though too as it’s also a source of probiotics (unlike milk).

    I take a supplement that also has Vitamin D and magnesium to cover all my bases.

  4. BAM! My supersized calves ARE good for something. Hahaha 🙂
    Every fall my employer does a Health Week and I went in for a bone density scan just so I could see if I can a weakness I needed to be concerned about with running.

    1. Hahaha big calves = strong and powerful calves!! I am curious about a bone density scan, I think that would be really cool.

  5. Thanks so much for linking up today and sharing the love! I’m glad you’re getting lots of advice and feeling more encouraged. Having an injury sucks but you’ll get through it and I’m confident you’ll be stronger than ever.

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