A stress fracture is a tiny crack in a weight bearing bone. It can occur in any part of the body but predominantly occur in the lower leg or feet.
Stress fractures are related to overuse where the supporting muscles become fatigued and no longer absorb the continuing stress of the aggravating activity such as running. As a consequence the stress transfers over to the bone and tiny cracks can form.
Possible causes of stress fractures could be: sudden increases in training frequency, intensity or duration; poor conditioning; incorrect technique; change in training surface; poor foot wear; or anatomical variations such as flat feet, or bowed legs or knock knees that may cause an overload on certain bones. Read more
A direct blow to the chest or to the ribs themselves may cause the ribs to bruise, break or separate from the breastbone. Whilst bruised ribs are extremely painful, in most cases they heal completely. The injury is referred to as bruised ribs but majority of the pain is caused by injury to the surrounding muscle and rib cartilage.