Can I heal my stress fracture any quicker?

Hey guys, I'm a 17 year old runner who's been cursed by issues for 4 months. Having run a 37:30 10k in March after just one year of running, I've been hardly running since April and it's driving me mad. I was diagnosed with MTSS but I had an MRI scan 2 weeks ago which has shown I have a hairline stress fracture in my left leg, about 2/3 of the way up my leg. My right seems fine. I have biomechanics issues which I'm working on. My GP says no impact-sport for 6 weeks but that a Physio might be able to speed up my healing. Does anyone know any more about this?

I had my MRI scan 2 weeks ago and have been running every other day but literally just doing rehab exercises completely on grass, like 1 min jog- 1 min walk, 2 min jog- 1 min walk, 3 min jog and so on... I've not had any pain at all so far for 2 weeks but it's ironic how as soon as I walk to the doctors this morning (which is about 200m away) I get a stabbing pain!!?? HELP!


  • I'm confused by your post, you were diagnosed with a stress fracture two weeks ago but you've been running - albeit walk/running - for two weeks? Unless I've misunderstood, the first thing you can try to speed up healing is to stop running.

  • I was diagnosed with a stress fracture 2 days ago, but I had my MRI scan 2 weeks ago. I only got the results 2 days ago. Should I stop walking too? Or just running?

  • With my stress fracture (2nd metatarsal) I was told no running for at least six weeks, but I was allowed to walk. Bone healing takes time. 

  • Does it hurt to walk? If so, crutches are probably a good idea, if not you should be fine. The general advice seems to be to let pain be your good to what is appropriate.

  • Sometimes. It's strange- no pain for 3 days of gym work (rowing, cycling etc, but have stopped that now) then I get pain within 30 seconds walking to the doctor. The pain is returning on small walks now and at rest which didn't do before. 

  • I know what you mean when you say you feel walking hurts just as much if not more then running.


    It doesn't mean it is more harmful then running, it just means your body is doing a very good job of pumping you with various natrually created hormones so you don't feel as much of the pain. The fact is, running will cause more damage so stop running, not even 1 min on 2 mins off, no running means no running means do something that is not running and hold off for at least a few months before trying back again, the first sign of pain and you stop and repeat the resting.


    It could also be worth looking at your footwear. If your walking in shoes which are not cushioned (eg smart loafers or laced boots or other smart-ish looking footwear) its not going to offer much protection against your feet hitting the ground per each step. The best thing you can do is wear trainers and keep wearing them daily until you can walk without irritating it.


    By all means keep up exercising, boosting your circulation will aid recovery and exercise does a great job at doing this but just stay clear of the impact stuff, anything you do must be where your feet do not slap the ground as you move. Swimming is supposed to be a very good activity (unless like me you cannot stand swimming), there are many things you can do, just not running, not if you want to recover any time soon.

  • I'd say that you can't get it to heal any quicker, but you're going about things the right way to get it to heal SLOWER! Rest means rest.  At least six weeks, maybe more of rest - NO RUNNING, limit walking as far as practical - for at least six weeks. If it no longer hurts at all, then try the hop test (can you hop on it several times happily without it hurting). Do NOT try the hop test before the end of the six weeks at the earliest, or if your brain is screaming "no, don't do this!" as you prepare to do the test.

  • Thanks everyone. Seeing the Physio on Thurs but staying off the cycling for now and definitely no running image

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