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Preventing Stress Reaction and Stress Fracture Injuries in the Gym E-mail
Written by Jeff Behar   

Altering your workout routine to meet the changing seasons, or beginning new ones, go slowly tosports-injuries-sign prevent repetitive injuries to your legs called "stress reaction" or more serious "stress fractures.

If you're about to alter your workout routine to meet the changing seasons - whether you're an elite athlete or a seasonal skier preparing for the slopes - your legs might start out a little wobbly, but they also might lead a full revolt. 

Causes of Stress Reactions and Stress Fractures

Changing (or starting) your regimen or increasing your workout's intensity are prime causes of repetitive injuries to your legs called "stress reaction" or more serious "stress fractures."

"Sometimes when you're working out your breaking down bone faster than it can rebuild," said Dr. Alex Creighton, assistant professor of Orthopaedics at the UNC Chapel Hill School of Medicine and a team physician for the Tar Heels.

Fresh military recruits and people training for their first marathons are also common sufferers of stress injuries, which includes painful, annoying swelling around the lower, front leg bone (the tibia) commonly called shin splints

"It's best to alter your workout, or cross training, to avoid these kinds of problems," Creighton said. "Sometimes, you just have to shut it down."

Relief Through RICE

If you experience pain, a good way to start providing relief is the old standard care, RICE:
  • Rest
  • Ice
  • Compression
  • Elevate

Most likely, the pain will fade away after a couple of days and there's nothing to worry about. If you want to continue your workouts, tone them down. If the pain continues after a couple of days, stop.

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