A fracture is essentially a broken bone. Sometimes, when external force is applied to a bone, the bone is unable to withstand the force and it breaks or cracks. This break or crack is called a fracture. When the bone breaks completely it is referred to as a major fracture. A crack in the bone is called a minor or stress fracture.
Common Causes Of Minor Fractures
Minor fractures are typically caused by high impact sports and sports that require repetitive movements. High impact sports such as basketball, soccer and long distance running commonly result in cracks in the legs or feet. Sports such as rowing, cricket and bowling, all of which call for repetitive movements, tend to cause minor fractures in the arms, shoulders and other parts of the body.
Problems can also arise when individuals abruptly start out a new exercise or increase the intensity of their workout without warming up or conditioning their muscles. This increases the amount of pressure that is exerted on the bones causing them to crack.
Anatomical abnormalities, faulty equipment when working out and osteoporosis are other common causative factors.
Symptoms & Diagnosis of Minor Fractures
If you have a dull, persistent pain with a swelling around the site of the injury, chances are it is more likely to be a crack in the bone or a minor fracture. In case of a major injury, the pain is more likely to be sharp and excruciating. In either case, it is important to visit a doctor so that you can get an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment that will help ease the symptoms and heal the injury. If you suspect that your bone may be cracked or broken, never try and diagnose or treat it yourself as this could make matters worse.
Your doctor will conduct a thorough physical examination to diagnose the presence of a crack in the bone. Depending on the site of the injury and the severity of your symptoms, the doctor may ask you to get an X-Ray or to do an MRI for a more accurate diagnosis.
If a minor fracture is confirmed, the first things your doctor will ask you to do is to apply ice onto the affected area several times over the next 24 to 48 hours and to minimize all activity involving that area. It is important to let the bone rest as much as possible so that it can heal itself. When the swelling and pain has subsided and you are ready to return to activity again, it is important that you do this slowly and carefully so you don’t risk injuring yourself again.