Stress Fracture vs Shin Splints
Many people suffer every year from lower leg injuries. These can be difficult to diagnose, especially if you have never experienced them. In today's blog, we compare stress fractures vs shin splints.
You might have these injuries if you experience stinging, pain, or a dull leg ache while running, walking, or kicking.
We want to help you understand what is going on with your body so that you can get on the road to recovery. Read on to compare a stress fracture vs shin splints and how to treat them.
The root cause of both stress fractures and shin splints is usually related to overuse. Repetitive movements or activities requiring the same type of motion over time can cause the muscles and bones to become overloaded and overworked. A stress fracture is a small crack or fracture in a bone that is caused by repetitive stress or impact and the bone's inability to handle it.
Shin splints are muscle pain or tenderness that occurs in the lower legs and are generally caused by muscle imbalance brought on by overuse. Athletes that increase their activity too quickly or put too much pressure on the leg muscles and bones are especially vulnerable to both. These two are the most common running injuries.
Signs and Symptoms
Both can involve pain and swelling in the lower leg. Stress fractures usually with tenderness along the affected bone. This will hurt when touched, and the pain may worsen during times of activity.
Shin splints, by comparison, usually involve diffuse pain and soreness across the shin area, typically more towards the outside of the lower part of the shin. This symptom, referred to as "shin splints", is associated with repetitive activities that involve time on your feet, such as walking, running, and jumping.
Pain is usually felt in both legs and is exacerbated with activity. Depending on the severity of the condition, other symptoms may include swelling, bruising, warmth to the touch, and decreased range of motion.
Treatment of stress fractures and shin splints can vary based on the severity of the injury. Stress fractures are treated through rest, modifications to daily activities, immobilization, and therapeutic interventions. While shin splints may be treated with rest, ice, compression, elevation, and anti-inflammatory medications.
Both require patience and discipline. This means avoiding running or high-impact activities to rest and allow the injury to heal. This period of rest may last up to several months.
A physiotherapy regimen and supportive stabilizing devices may be beneficial in relieving pain. It also improves the strength and flexibility of the muscles around the affected area to avoid a relapse. Switching to low-impact activities such as swimming or cycling may minimize the possibility of recurring injury.
Knowing the Difference Between a Stress Fracture Vs Shin Splints
A "stress fracture" and "shin splints" both involve pains in the lower leg. However, they are caused by different things. Stress fractures are caused by a sudden increase in force, like running long distances, while shin splints are caused by repetitive motion. It's vital to be aware of the differences between a stress fracture vs shin splints.
Running injury is manageable with the proper treatment. If you have leg pain, remember to seek medical assistance to properly diagnose and treat it.
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