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Shin Splints

What Is Shin Splints?

Shin Splints can be defined as an inflammation of the soft tissues of the leg (Shin) that causes pain, and is aggravated by exercise.

This injury is caused by inflammation of the tendons, muscles or periosteums caused by an imbalance between calf muscles and shin muscles, and are very common in hikers, joggers and runners especially on hard or irregular surfaces.

Shin Splints may be divided into anterior (most common), in which pain extends anteriorly and laterally in the leg, and posterior, extending from the posterior and medial aspect of the leg to the internal area of the ankle, and often occur in both legs at the same time.

Find below some of the most common causes:

  • Overpronation of your feet

  • Oversupination of your feet

  • Inappropriate footwear

  • Increasing your training too quickly

  • Running on hard or angled surfaces

  • Decreased flexibility at your ankle joint

  • Poor knee flexion alignment

  • Poor core stability

  • Tight calf muscles, hamstrings

  • Weak quadriceps, foot arch muscles

  • Overload Training

  • Obesity

  • Changes in the plantar arch.

  • Cold weather increases the risk of this injury, so it is essential to have a good warm-up before exercise.

Signs and symptoms / Diagnosis

Pain in the leg, and may be associated with muscle fatigue and swelling.

A good evaluation, including a detailed medical history and leg examination are usually sufficient to diagnose a shin splints. An X-ray may be asked to rule out the hypothesis of a tibia stress fracture.


The treatment may consist in cold pack (ice), massage, myofascial release, taping, stretches and rest. Depends how severe and acute is the inflammation.

We recommend checking with your Physiotherapist to treat the cause of the problem and not the symptoms.

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