Shin Pain (Shin Splints)

Shin Pain (Shin Splints)



Shin Splints refer to a generalized pain in the front or inside section of the lower leg, otherwise referred to as the shin area. The pain is often the result of and/or accompanied by inflammation.


The most common symptoms associated with shin splints are a stabbing pain along the shin bone accompanied by tenderness and/or a feeling of tightness along the front or side of the shin. Shin splints almost always occur in tandem with physical activities such as running or walking for long periods of time or for long distances. The pain typically diminishes with rest. People who are new to walking or running—or who train frequently or competitively—are most at risk for developing this type of pain.

Why Am I Getting Shin Splints?

While the precise etiology of shin splints is still unknown it appears that this condition is caused by an excessive stretching of the muscles and tendons that run along the tibia and fibula, which are better known as shin bones. Runners and athletes are two of the demographics most susceptible to suffering from this condition as this excessive stretching frequently occurs as a result of over-training.

Over-pronation of the feet can also cause shin splints and shin pain to develop, as the excessive internal rotation of the tibial bone puts added tension on the muscles and ligaments of the lower leg and creates uneven pressure points to develop as well.

Treatment and Prevention Options

Treating shin splints after they have already developed usually begins with a reduction in physical activity so the muscles and tendons have time to heal. In severe cases NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatories) may be used to reduce pain and inflammation, otherwise, cold therapy, deep tissue massage, gentle stretching of the lower limbs and rest are the best option.

To prevent shin splints from occurring (or from flaring up again) it’s important to thoroughly warm up before undertaking any kind of physical activities, and the calf muscles should be well stretched after the workout is finished.

It’s also important to gradually build up to new activity levels so that sudden and excessive pressure is not placed on the shin area. Orthotics are also a wonderful way to reduce strain on the lower leg muscles, stabilize the feet and ankles, and cushion the lower body against the force of impact during the strike phase of the gait cycle. Dr Foot orthotics also correct over-pronation of the feet and reduce the negative effects that sub-par foot mechanics have on the rest of the body, including the development of shin pain and shin splints.

View Dr Foot Orthotics to treat Shin Pain


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