What are Shin Splints?

  • Shin splints are a common exercise-related problem.
  • The term “shin splints” refers to pain along the inner edge of the shinbone (tibia).
  • Shin splints typically develop after physical activity.

Shin splints is an inflammation of the muscles, tendons, and bone tissue around your tibia. Pain typically occurs along the inner border of the tibia, where muscles attach to the bone.

They are a common exercise-related problem and the term “shin splints” refers to pain along the inner edge of the shinbone (tibia).

Shin splints are often associated with running but any vigorous sports activity can bring on shin splints, especially if you are just starting a fitness program.

To relieve the pain of shin splints simple measures can be used such as test, ice, and stretching often help. Taking care not to overdo your exercise routine will help prevent shin splints from coming back

Our Treatment Approach

Nonsurgical Treatment

  • Rest. Because shin splints are typically caused by overuse, several weeks of rest from the activity that caused the pain are recommended
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines. Drugs like ibuprofen, aspirin, and naproxen reduce pain and swelling.
  • Ice. Use cold packs for 20 minutes at a time, several times a day.
  • Compression. Wearing an elastic compression bandage may prevent additional swelling.
  • Flexibility exercises. Stretching your lower leg muscles may make your shins feel better.
  • Supportive shoes. Wearing shoes with good cushioning during daily activities will help reduce stress in your shins.
  • Orthotics. People who have flat feet or recurrent problems with shin splints may benefit from orthotics. Shoe inserts can help align and stablize your foot and ankle, taking stress off of your lower leg. Orthotics can be custom-made for your foot, or purchased “off the shelf.”

Surgical Treatment

Very few people need surgery for shin splints. Surgery has been done in very severe cases that do not respond to nonsurgical treatment. It is not clear how effective surgery is, however.


Shin splints generally develop when the muscle and bone tissue in the leg become overworked by repetitive activity or after sudden changes in physical activity.

  • Frequesncy such as increasing the number of days you exercise each week.
  • Changes in duration and intensity, such as running longer distances or on hills, can also cause shin splints.
  • Having flat feet or abnormally rigid arches
  • Exercising with improper or worn-out footwear.

Stress Fracture

If your shin splints are not responsive to treatment, your doctor may want to make sure you do not have a stress fracture. A stress fracture is a small crack(s) in the tibia caused by stress and overuse.


Tendons attach muscles to bones. Tendinitis occurs when tendons become inflamed. This can be painful like shin splints, especially if there is a partial tear of the involved tendon.


The most common symptom of shin splints is pain along the border of the tibia. Mild swelling in the area may also occur.

Shin splint pain may:

  • Be sharp and razor-like or dull and throbbing
  • Occur both during and after exercise
  • Be aggravated by touching the sore spot

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