What is it?
A shin splint, also called tibial stress syndrome, refers to pain in the shin – the area in the front of the lower leg - caused by overuse, such as during athletic activities or exercise.
Causes, Symptoms and Risk Factors
This pain may be a dull ache or tenderness, and there may also be swelling, warmth and/or redness in the shin area. The condition may take several weeks to develop, and the pain may come and go. The risks of developing shin splints increase with:
- Playing sports that involve jumping or running
- Taking part in high-impact activities, such as dancing or aerobics
- Wearing shoes that are worn out or don’t fit well
- Having poor foot structure
A doctor will diagnose shin splints by examining the shin area and reviewing symptoms and medical history. The doctor may also conduct imaging tests, such as X-rays and bone scans, to rule out stress fractures.
Treatments for shin splints include:
- Icing the painful area
- Applying heat after a few days
- Massaging the area
- Taking anti-inflammatory medication for discomfort
- Inserting orthotic devices into the shoes