View Full Version : Stress fractures from treadmill?

James Falkner
04-19-2005, 02:41 PM

My wife appears to get stress fractures from walking/running on a treadmill. This does not happen when walking/running on asphalt (i.e. outside). Question is, is this common? What biomechanical differences are there in treadmill running vs. outdoor running that could cause this? The only thing I can come up with is the flexion of the treadmill deck causing the foot to "bend" front-to-back on each foot strike, vs. no bend on asphalt. This has happened twice now, and we're pretty sure its the treadmill. The first time was after a few months of running outdoors, she tried treadmill, and after about a week or two developed (and had diagnosed) a stress fracture. Second time was a similar experience, except this time it was solely from walking. So we're definitely going to go see a podiatrist but I was just curious if anyone here experienced this and what they did to help out. I wonder if there are special shoe inserts one can wear or a change in their stride mechanics when on a treadmill to eliminate whatever is causing the stress on the foot.

Scott Kustes
04-19-2005, 05:46 PM
Are you sure it's the treadmill? How much had she been running? Maybe she had been overdoing it and it only showed symptoms after she moved to the treadmill by coincidence. How long after the first time did the second time occur? Could be an issue of not healing it completely.

Beyond that, Google revealed this:
Causes of stress fracture include: (incomplete list) Impact of an unfamiliar surface (a runner who has switched from a treadmill to a concrete path)

Perhaps switching from concrete to the treadmill could do it also.