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I've been running off and on for a while, but was bothered by asthma, so now that I have that under control I've been running more frequently. It is only about 2 miles each time for now though. About a month ago I ran a few times that week and after the last run I was bothered by a very painful left shin. I was a gymnast and have experienced shin splints before, but this didn't feel the same. This time, the pain was located on a small area of the tibia. It was very tender for over a week and I did not run during this time. My chiropractor suggested I ice and take it easy for a while and also said it seemed like a stress fracture, but since I do not run long distances each time or everyday it didn't seem likely. Now weeks later I am bothered by the same pain. It even bothers me when I walk and throbs just resting sometimes. Is this more likely MTSS, or could it possibly be a stress fracture?
What you are describing sounds like a sfx. The only way to find out is to go to the doctor. You do not have to run long to get a sfx. It could happen if you are new to running, have weak lower leg muscles, have low bone density, run too much, run too far, run too fast, etc. Also it could be from other activities. IMO you have a sfx and should see a doctor. If you continue running or doing other activities you could fracture your leg.
There are four types of shin splints most are caused by incorrect running form, but can be exacerbated by improper shoes, surface, or structural issues. An X-ray should rule out if you've had stress fractures in the past, but won't help diagnose new ones (calcium deposits take a while to form and show up on film). Continue to ice, wrap and elevate the affected leg. As pain subsides try stretching and strengthening exercises. Go to a good running shoe store and get fitted with the proper shoes, I use Superfeet in my shoes and never have shin problems anymore. If pain doesn't subside after two weeks you need to be further evaluated. If the pain gets better after running a while it could be compartment syndrome, if it gets worst and you feel lumps along the affected shin it might be periostitis (inflammation of the sheath that covers the bone).
An MRI will show a stress fracture - a friend recently was diagnosed with a stress reaction - which is a pre cursor to a stress fracture - she had been running on it for so long her recovery time is going to take longer than my fracture so I would encourage you to see a doctor
I did see a documentary about some runners - one lady had diabeties and this made her prone to stress fractures - she ended up having to give up running - my point here being there could be some other issue making you prone to the sfx event hough your milage seems low
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