What are shin splints?

"Shin splints" is the general term for pain at the front of the lower leg. "Shin splints" is not a diagnosis in itself but a description of symptoms, of which there could be a number of causes. The most common cause is inflammation of the outer lining of the lower leg bone (tibia).

How do shin splints happen?

Traction and pulling forces from the muscles of the lower leg on the periostium cause shin pain and inflammation.

What does it feel like?

Pain along the inside of the shin. Lower leg pain, which goes away after a period of rest but comes back when running starts again. Small bumps may be felt along the inside of the shin bone.

What can you do?

Rest to allow the injury to heal. Apply ice or cold therapy in the early stages, particularly when it is very painful. Cold therapy reduces pain and inflammation. Stretch the muscles of the lower leg.

What can we do to help you?

Prescribe pain medications. Analyse running style for over pronation and other biomechanical problems of the foot.

Sports physiotherapy which may include stretching, strengthening, taping and correct biomechanical errors.