shin splints vs stress fracture (Read 2004 times)

    I really have never had shin splints or a stress fracture (knock on wood) so I don't know how either should feel. But I have less then 3 weeks to boston and am laying up at night with pain in my lower shin bone knowing something isn't right. I thought that shin splints are only supposed to hurt when you are running. But has anybody had shin splints that kept hurting after you were done or while you were lying down? I am really worried that it might be a stress fracture and that my months of hard work for Boston might be down the tubes. I had to scrap the spores work planned for today, and had to dial back the pace on the rest of the run today. But still got in 10 miles with most pain free, until the end. Is there any way to tell the two injuries apart? Should I really be worried about the pain? Do these type of injuries come on quickly? How should I prepare the next two weeks? HELP!
      I've had both. When I had a stress fracture, I could tap along the bone, and when I hit the spot of the fracture, I would practically jump out of my skin from the pain. It hurt the whole time I was running. When I have shin splints, I feel soreness at the beginning of a run, and after warming up a bit, it's pretty much pain-free. I've had pain at night with shin splints, too. Of course the only way to know for sure is to have it checked by your doc. I was stupid and put that off for too long, and my stress fracture got pretty bad. Good luck!

        Very unlikely you could run 10 miles if you had a stress fracture. It is likely a stress reaction or shin splints. Is the pain on the inside of the shin? You should be icing regularly. You may need a little down time. Any swelling in that area?

        Those who try, fail! Those who do what it takes to succeed, succeed!!

          You should probably get it checked out, but at least take some time off from running, both cases call for rest anyway.


          I just went through something like this and took about two-three weeks off from running. I'm back to easing into the run again and so far so good. I didn't get professionally diagnosed but feel it was a case a MTSS (Medial Tibial Stress Syndrom). I tried to use a run simulation machine (similar to an elliptical) at the YMCA to try and keep my run fitness as well as spent alot of time in the pool swimming. As an ametuer triathlete I could use the extra attention to my swim stroke anyway and now didn't have to try and fit it in.


          I had a radiating pain the centered about 4 inches up from the ankle on the outer front of my shin. It would swell up (noticably), turn purplish during and after the run and had a tight felling. It never made me stop during a run, but would continue to hurt all night. Ice helped a little, but not much.


          I tracked it back to an increase in intensity that my body could not handle. I started a rather advanced HM plan that I apparently was not ready for. My mileage increased to a point I had been at before and was feeling really good before and after a run so I kept following it. I felt rested and ready for the next day, but the intensity was too much too soon.


          The pain that hurts the worse is the imagined pain. One of the most difficult arts of racing is learning to ignore the imagined pain and just live with the present pain (which is always bearable.) - Jeff


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            Waytogo pretty much nailed my experience with shin splints. I haven't had a SF, but my daughter had a couple in HS. Her description was that it hurt to the touch, and was very localized.

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              I never had an injury and then all of a sudden my shin started to hurt on runs and walking on stairs.  I got it x-ray'd and confirmed there wasnt a stress fracture.  Believe it or not KT tape made all the difference for me until it healed--and lots of stretching.  Try the tape and see if it helps.


              Good luck.