Shin PainShin splints, or medial tibial stress syndrome as it is more accurately referred to, is believed to be the most common injury among athletes whose sports involve extensive amounts of running. The injury is troubling because it interferes with training programmes.
It causes pain along the shinbone in the lower third of the leg. Swelling may arise around the injured shin.
Running on uneven surfaces and downhill racing can contribute to shin splints. It is essentially an inflammatory reaction involving deep tissues of the lower leg and may involve tendon and muscle. The inflammatory reaction occurs at the point where the deep tissues insert into the inside (medial) aspect of the lower third of the leg bone (tibia).
Causes of shin splints include over-training, over-pronation of the feet (flat feet), tight calf muscle, road running, excessive hip rotation and poor running technique.
The treatment includes a reduction in training, gentle stretching, biomechanical assessment/gait analysis and avoiding downhill running.