Shin splints

Shin splintsShin splints, also known as medial tibial stress syndrome, is a term for pain on the front inside part of the lower leg. Shin splints involves inflamed muscle, tendons, and the thin layer of tissue that covers the bone.

Shin splints happen over a period of time when constant pounding and stress are placed on the bones , muscles and joints of the lower leg. The result is irritation and inflammation, both of which cause pain.

Factors that may contribute to to shin splints may include:

  • Running downhill;
  • Sudden increase in training frequency, duration, or intensity;
  • Exercising on hard surfaces;
  • Old shoes;
  • Flat feet , rigid arches, and over-pronation (ankles roll inward on impact).

Symptoms include:

  • Gradual onset of lower leg pain;
  • Mild swelling over shin area;
  • Tenderness along the front or inner part of the lower leg.

How to avoid this injury:

  • Avoid sudden, dramatic changes in exercise duration, intensity and frequency;
  • Run on softer surfaces;
  • Consider a pair of off the shelf or custom made orthotics (shoe inserts) to help prevent over pronation (ankle rolling inward);
  • Cross train in sports or activities that place less stress on the lower leg such as cycling, walking, swimming;
  • Ensure change shoes regularly, don’t let the shoes become too old and lose support and cushioning.


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