Shin splints is the pain along the front or inside edge of the shinbone (tibia) is commonly referred to as shin splints. The problem is common in athletes who run and jump. It is usually caused by doing too much, too quickly. The runner with this condition typically reports a recent change in training, such as increasing the usual pace, adding distance, or changing running surfaces. People who haven't run for awhile are especially prone to shin splints after they first get started, especially when they run downhill. Shin splints on the front of the tibia are called ‘anterior shin splints’. ‘Posterior shin splints’ cause pain along the inside edge of the lower leg.
Dull, aching pain is felt where the involved tibialis muscle attaches to the tibia. Redness and swelling can also occur in this area. Tenderness is felt where the muscle attaches to the bone.
Anterior shin splints are usually felt on the front of the tibia, especially when using the anterior tibialis muscle to bend your foot upward.
Posterior shin splints produce symptoms along the inside edge of the lower leg. Small bumps may also be felt along the edge of the tibia in this area.
Symptoms of shin splints generally get worse with activity and ease with rest.
Shin splints usually result from overusing the legs. Repeated movements of the foot can cause damage where the tibialis muscles attach to the tibia. Soon the edge of the muscles may begin to pull away from the bone. The injured muscle and the bone covering (periosteum) become inflamed.
Risks of shin splints are more likely in:
- Runners, especially just beginning a running program
- People who play sports on hard surfaces, with sudden stops and starts
- People who run on uneven terrain, such as hills
- People attending military training
- People with flat flat feet or high arches
Pain from shin splints may force the individual to walk on the outside of the foot, placing additional stress on other muscles and tendons. Abnormal walking patterns (gait) can lead to back strain. Changes in posture or gait can also cause inflammation and arthritic changes in nearby joints (e.g., back, hip, knee, ankle). Untreated shin splints and uncorrected biomechanical malalignments in the legs and feet may result in stress fractures and even true fractures, potentially endangering normal function in affected legs.
To help prevent shin splints:
- Choose the right shoes.
- Consider arch supports: arch supports can help prevent the pain of shin splints, especially if you have flat arches.
- Lessen the impact: increase time and intensity gradually.
- Add strength training to your workout: ao strengthen your calf muscles, try toe raises. Stand up. Slowly rise up on your toes, then slowly lower your heels to the floor.