The Study:

Association of Vitamin D With Stress Fractures: A Retrospective Cohort Study

J Foot Ankle Surg. 2016;55:117-120.

Why You Should Care:

Nothing can ruin a race season quicker than a stress fracture.  Every athlete has either had one or knows someone who has.  They start as a nagging pain that won’t go away and wind up as six weeks of interrupted training and your planned PR down the drain.

The Breakdown:

  • The researchers reviewed the records of 53 patients who had been diagnosed with a stress fracture in the last 3 months.  44 of the patients had a serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D level <40mg/ml
  • The researchers concluded “an association was seen in patients with stress fractures and a serum 25 (OH) D levels <40mg/ml
  • The researchers proposed that “greater that previously understood serum concentrations of Vitamin D might be necessary to prevent stress fractures in active individuals.

What It Means For You:

  • Stress fractures are a common injury that occurs when stress on a bone exceeds its capacity to withstand those forces.
  • Evidence links insufficient levels of Vitamin D to stress fractures
  • Researchers recommend a minimum serum Vitamin D level to prevent stress fractures
  • The only way to determine your level is adequate is to see your Health Care Provider and confirm it with a blood test.