The tibia is a weight-bearing bone and sustains a large amount of impact, and so it is more likely to sustain stress fractures if it is exposed to repetitive stress, as in running and jumping sports. Fatigued leg muscles reduce the leg's ability to absorb shock, and this lessened ability, combined with training on hard surfaces, results in stress fracture. Bones are constantly repaired and rebuilt by movement of calcium from one area to another, and this process creates weak areas that are susceptible to stress fracture. Women are more susceptible to this injury because of deficiencies in bone density related to hormone changes and osteoporosis.
The symptoms may include pain in bearing weight, which is more severe in the early stages of activity, subsides in the middle, and returns at the end. Swollen tissue may be present.
Dry needling acupuncture is effective for treating this injury. Needles can be applied into the inflamed, tender, swelling, and painful area and into the origin and insertion of the muscle. In addition, the treatment is used to balance the entire muscu-loskeletal system. Two treatment sessions per week should be provided.
If an athlete receives weekly balancing treatment to reduce stress and muscle fatigue, the possibility of stress fracture can be reduced. Female athletes should pay special attention to their intake of calcium.
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