Sore, painful shins are one of the most common—and frustrating—symptoms experienced by runners, soccer players, and all kinds of active individuals. Whether you’re a weekend warrior or professional player, shin splints can keep you from training your hardest and playing your best. And if you don’t treat them properly, the pain can linger all season long.
Fortunately, we can help.
What Are Shin Splints?
The term shin splints (also known as medial tibial stress syndrome) refers to pain, inflammation, and stress surrounding the tibia—in other words, the shin bone. Muscles, tendons, and even the bone itself may be affected.
Typical symptoms include tenderness, soreness, and even mild swelling along the inner side of your lower leg. Initially, you might only feel the pain during and after exercise. However, without proper care, the discomfort may become continuous.
Causes and Risk Factors
Shin splints are especially common in runners, as well as those who play a sport that involves a lot of running and jumping. Those just beginning a new training program or rapidly increasing their activity (for example, military recruits) are at especially high risk.
Structural abnormalities with your feet (for example flat feet or high arches) may increase your risk of shin splints.