Shin splints are also known as medial tibial stress syndrome. Shin splints are very common among athletes, sportspersons and people who indulge in a lot of physical activity. Gymnasts or acrobats, swimmers and regular joggers can also develop shin splints.

Shin splints or medial tibial stress syndrome, often referred to as MTSS, is characterised by a pain along the inner edge of the shinbone. The shinbone is also known as tibia. While the specific area of pain is the inner edge of the shin bone, it can spread and be felt throughout the lower part of the leg, from the knees to the ankle. Shin splints may happen to only one leg or both at the same time.

Shin Splints Causes

Shin splints are an extremely common leg injury. It is estimated that about 15%, a little less or more, of all runners or those who indulge in a lot of activity and thus stressing the legs develop shin splints. From aerobic dancers to military personnel getting trained for the first time are also vulnerable to shin splints.

Shin splints are caused due to swollen and irritated muscles. This happens when the muscles are overused and they are unable to recuperate between the exercising or stressful regiments. Apart from swollen and irritated muscles, there could be tiny breaks or fractures in the lower leg bone or tibia which can be caused due to physical stress. If the muscles and bones are not subjected to adequate rest and if they don’t get to heal or recuperate before they are subjected to stress again, then the possibility of shin splints can increase exponentially.

Some other causes of shin splints are overpronation and poor postures of running.

Shin Splints Symptoms

The symptoms of shin splints are usually different degrees of pain. You may experience the pain when you are running or walking. You may have just finished a run or you might have moved very fast from one place to another and your legs don’t support you any longer. You are compelled to sit down. Such exhaustion would indicate shin splints. You may experience pain even when you are sitting, resting or lying down.

Shin splints don’t always call for treatments because they can heal on their own. If you allow your body some rest and the muscles and bones in the lower leg to recuperate, then they can get healed. The muscles and bones must be allowed to relax, get proper nutrition and heal.