A stress fracture is a small crack in a bone caused by overuse from high impact sports. Studies show that athletes participating in tennis, track and field, gymnastics, dance, and basketball are at high risk for stress fractures. In all of these sports, the repeated stress of the foot striking the ground can cause problems. Most stress fractures occur in the weight-bearing bones of the foot and lower leg. When muscles are overtired, they are no longer able to lessen the shock of repeated impacts. When this happens, the muscles transfer the stress to the bones. This can create small cracks or fractures. The key way to heal a stress fracture is to rest the injured area. When recovering, it is important to take everything at a slow pace.