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Shin Splints

What are shin splints, and what causes them?

Shin splints refer to the pain felt along the inner edge of your tibia, or shinbone. Repetitive activities can overwork the tissue and muscle that surround your shinbone, leaving the tissue, muscles, and tendons around your shinbone inflamed and sore.

The symptoms of shin splints can include either a sharp, or a dull and throbbing pain, that occurs during and after exercise. They can be irritated by touching the affected area.

Often associated with running, shin splints tend to worsen with vigorous physical activity. Running or exercising on hard surfaces, and changes in your normal exercise routine can result in this type of pain.

These changes may include:

  • Increasing the duration and intensity of your exercise, such as running further or across more difficult terrain.

  • Increasing the frequency of your exercise, such as training more days of the week.

A man with his foot raised on a step, tying his running shoe with setting sun in the background

Along with runners, dancers and military recruits are also at a higher risk of developing shin splints. Also, those with high arches or flat feet, or who exercise with improper or worn out footwear, are more at risk for this condition.

Side view of a pair of bare feet raised in the air