Shin splints vs. fractures

Determining are the cause of your achy shins

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Distance runners are particularly prone to pain in the shins, and there are two likely causes—shin splints or stress fractures. Shin splints, or medial tibial stress syndrome, is a condition in which the soft tissue surrounding the tibia bone becomes inflamed, often due to runners changing their routine. In this case, a regimen of rest, icing and anti-inflammatory medication can help alleviate the symptoms, though it can take months to heal in severe cases. Stress fractures, on the other hand, are generally limited to one leg. If the pain is intense and highly localized, a doctor’s visit likely is in order.