Shin Splints

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Shin Splints

Shin splints are a common exercise-related issue. Shin splints are an inflammation of the muscles, tendons, and bone tissue around your tibia, or “shin bone”. Pain from shin splints typically occurs along the inner border of the tibia, where muscles attach to the bone.


Shin splints develop when the muscle and bone tissue in the leg become overworked by repetitive activity. They often occur after sudden changes in physical activity; which can include an increase in the frequency of exercise, intensity, and duration.

Other factors that can contribute to shin splints include but are not limited to:

  • Having flat feet
  • Exercising with improper, or worn-out footwear

Runners and dancers are at high risk for developing shin splints due to the nature of their physical activities.


The most common symptom of shin splints is pain along the tibia bone, and some mild swelling may occur as well. Pain from shin splints may be:

  • Sharp and razor-like, or dull and throbbing
  • Occur both during and after exercise<
  • Be aggravated by touching the sore areas


Since the common cause of shin splints is overuse, it is important to start treatment with several weeks of rest from the activity that caused the pain. Lower impact types of exercise can be used during recovery, such as swimming, using a stationary bike, or an elliptical. Some other treatments include but are not limited to:

  • Over-the-counter anti-inflammatories, such as ibuprofen
  • Ice
  • Compression
  • Flexibility exercises
  • Supportive shoes
  • Orthotic shoe inserts

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