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I've seen quite a few moms mention that their recruits have stress fractures over my time on here and another one posted today.  I wondered "What can be done to prevent this?"  I found this from the Mayo Clinic and suggest that if you have a future Sailor in DEP that you have him/her start getting ready now to help prevent stress fractures at BC that could delay him/her for several weeks.

Simple steps can help you prevent stress fractures.

  • Make changes slowly. Start any new exercise program slowly and progress gradually.
  • Use proper footwear. Make sure your shoes fit well and are appropriate for your activity. If you have flat feet, ask your doctor about arch supports for your shoes.
  • Cross-train. Add low-impact activities to your exercise regimen to avoid repetitively stressing a particular part of your body.
  • Get proper nutrition. To keep your bones strong, make sure your diet includes plenty of calcium and other nutrients.



We know that the PT and IT at BC do not begin as slowly and progress as gradually as some of the recruits might need because the RDC's want to get them ready to be Sailors quickly, so the Future Sailor must start preparing before shipping off.


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Thanks for posting this information.  My son had a stress fracture towards the end of A school so this is important information to read to help prevent this problem.  I warned my son of the importance of buying new running shoes after BC but he thought they were fine so didn't.  Well he ended up with a stress fracture and he was told it was from not buying new running shoes.  I know this from experiece because my other child runs cross country and we have to buy her new shoes every 4 weeks to  prevent injuries.  Shoes can look fine from the outside but they are only good for so many miles and then they lose their support.

We already know our Sailor-Recruit has very high arches.  He gets shin splints if he does not wear custom orthotics -- does training take this into consideration or just ignore what has been medically documented?

Your SR will have athletic shoes with the appropriate arch support based on his feet. He won't get custom orthotics though. He may get permission to have you send him shoe inserts. Some recruits do.

BTW, there is no such thing as a Sailor Recruit: there are Sailors and Recruits, but no Sailor Recruits. SR stands for Seaman Recruit.

Thanks for this info. I'll pass it on to my son. He has been doing quite a bit of this already.

My son ruptured his achilles tendon in his right foot.   Went in to the foot doctor and the dr. said his feet were so flat and they made him orthotics to put in his boots and he just got off of light duty.

All that PT running and marching got him and he was really in great pain. He is much better and I believe a little smarter now.  He kept telling me he thought he could run thru the pain because he did not want anyone to know he was hurt - well, that didn't work..

Thanks for sharing. Prayers for a full recovery.

My son just left Thurs, July 23 for boot camp w/ his orthotics for really flat feet.  I understand he will not be able to keep them and was told they would have shoes fitted using a computer.  When you wrote "went in to the foot doctor the doctor made him orthotics to put in his boots", at what point, week what, did this happen.  So they will make personal orthotics?

dorcas, Yes, his shoes for PT will be specially fitted by computer. He could receive orthotics for his boots. Some have been able to keep orthotics that they took, but they had to have discussed it at MEPS first.

Check your My Page.

thanks for the reply.  this is really my only concern.  I had asked about the orthotics at MEPS and it didn't sound like keeping them was an option.  ty again and good night!

It's gone both ways--mostly because orthotics are fitted to the shoe/boot as well as the foot.

Before my daughter went to Basic we did our homework on this issue and found that supplements of vitamins help with stress fractures.  So, that's what we did. 

randomized trial was conducted with a group of female military recruits and found that Calcium and Vitamin D supplementation did reduce the incidence of stress fractures. Another study examined young female runners and found that Calcium and Vitamin D intake did reduce incidence of stress fractures and increased bone mineral density measures.  Athletes in thesestudies were ingesting on average more than 1500 mg of Calcium per day, and reporting much less stress fracture injuries.


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