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Athletic Training

Swimming with a stress fracture

12/06/2005

Question:

I have recently been diagnosed with a probably stress fracture from running just above my ankle, on the inside of my leg. My doctor told me that I could swim. It seems to me that swimming makes it worse. Does this make sense or is it likely I have a different kind of injury. I would hate to stop exercising altogether. What do you suggest?

Answer:

Stress fractures in the lower leg are common in many runners. Sometimes the foot motion associated with swimming causes increased motion of the muscles in the lower leg. This can lead to pain from swimming. An alternative may be running in the pool. You can use a pool belt in the deep end and simulate the running motion. Make sure to run in water deep enough that you won't touch the pool floor. If you are continuing to have pain you should make sure to check with your physician for re-evaluation.

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Response by:

Angela Justina Beisner, MA, AC Angela Justina Beisner, MA, AC
Athletic Trainer
Department of Athletics Instructor
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University