If you haven’t experienced a stress fracture at some point during your life you are lucky, as they are a very common problem especially among runners. This is because as we run and continue to do so, we put stress on our muscles as we know. There comes a point however if you exercise for too long or go too hard where your muscle doesn’t have the energy to take all of the strain, which is then transferred on to your bones. You probably don’t notice this because it happens gradually over time, and more often than not is the result of numerous small fractures that develop over time. The pain you will feel from these fractures is similar to ones you feel from shin splints, so it is easy to confuse the two. The difference is that shin splints are temporary and don’t lead to long term damage like stress fractures can. Stress fractures are most common in runners because of the nature of the sport. Running puts stress on our bones which can cause these fractures, however as we know running can be very beneficial as well if done properly in moderation. This is why you should gradually increase the difficulty in your training as far as intensity is concerned in a slow manner. Doing so not only will reduce these stress fractures, but will strengthen your legs and reduce the chance for fractures down the line.