Russia’s Evgenia Medvedeva Stress Fractures

April 23, 2018

Russia’s Evgenia Medvedeva competed at the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics only four months after suffering from a metatarsal stress fracture in her right foot. Her foot was placed into a cast to allow the bone to heal properly and she was unable to skate for two whole months missing the Grand Prix and Russian Nationals.

Stress fractures are overuse injuries that develop when your foot becomes fatigued and has trouble absorbing pressure and shock. Repetitive pounding and hard landings stress the bones, eventually causing cracks. Continuing to subject your injured limb to hard impacts and heavy pressure only makes the problem worse. That might even lead to a full break in the bone. You need rest and reduced pressure on the feet to heal.

Stress fractures in athletes of Medvedeva’s caliber are often due to low bone mass, deterioration of bone architecture, and fragile bones. Poor nutrition is a leading cause. As an Olympian, athletes like Medvedeva start skating workouts multiple times daily with warm-up exercises. Over time, the bone doesn’t respond well to even normal mechanical stresses, let alone the intense training of Medvedeva and other contenders. Even simple warm-ups can crack a bone.

According to Dr. Cynthia Oberholtzer-Classen, patients with a stress fracture can exercise and stay fit. That is if you adhere to the right activities.

Stick to low-impact activities. Plenty of sports and exercise routines work your whole body and help you stay fit without pounding the ground. Here are a few you could try:

  • Swimming – This is an excellent cardio exercise that strengthens your arms and core while not involving hard impacts to the feet. Just take it easy – vigorous kicking may still be uncomfortable for your injured foot.
  • Weights – Weight lifting is a great way to build up muscle and stay in shape. Routines that can be done sitting down avoid straining your foot bones.

Although you’ll have to cut back on all your activities when you have a stress fracture, you don’t need to give up on exercising completely. You can stay fit by doing the right kinds of exercise while you heal.