Shin splints is used to describe pain in the front or lower inner shin. It is part of the general group of “overuse injuries”.
A stress fracture is a fracture caused by repetitive impacts or stress. It will give you more of a deep radiating pain that is worse with weight bearing activities.
Causes: Shin splint is a common injury for runners. This pain will often come as a result of going too fast too soon or suddenly increasing your intensity or frequency.
Stress fracture is also common in strenuous sports with weight bearing and running in particular.Pain:
Shin splints will often decrease with your warmup whereas fracture will persistTreatment:
Shin splints can be treated in physiotherapy with
Manual therapy and soft tissue release techniques. Evaluation of the ankle mobility is often needed to correct mechanical problems.
Exercises: stretching and strengthening (concentric and excentric)
Electrotherapy modalities and ice application for inflammation
activity modification and posture correction
A stress fracture requires 6-8 weeks off impact activity, rest and sometimes even a cast or splint to prevent re-injury during the healing process.