Physical exam is a more accurate way to detect the reasons and possible outcomes of this health condition. Running is not the only cause of the shin splints; when the problem develops over time, it may result in a pain during a simple walk. A sensitivity to palpation is another thing, which helps to detect the core of the problem. Other methods of diagnosis include X-rays, bone tests, and MRI. They help to make a difference between a real shin splint and a stress fracture. As for the X-rays technique, it might be useful in defining bone thickening.