If you have pain in a specific spot in your foot or lower leg that you barely noticed at first but is getting worse over time, yet decreases when you rest, you may have a stress fracture. A stress fracture is a tiny crack in the bone, typically so small it cannot be seen by X-ray for 4-6 weeks. Unlike other fractures that are caused by a single event, stress fractures are caused by repetitive activities such as walking and running that exceed the bone’s ability to recover.
Although anyone can experience a stress fracture, people that are involved in high impact sports like basketball, volleyball and running are most at risk. Stress fractures also often occur in people who were not previously active, who start an aggressive exercise routine.