What are Shin Splints?

Most runners experience shin splints. In fact, if you are a runner, I bet you’ve felt that throbbing shin pain at least once before. But what are they and how can we get rid of them?

Doctors call shin splints medial tibial stress syndrome. This occurs from the stress that is placed on your shinbone and the connective tissues. These tissues attach the muscles to your bones. When stress occurs they become painful and inflamed.

Symptoms of Shin Splints

Symptoms will arise at the side of your shinbone, these include:

  • Tenderness & Soreness
  • A dull ache in the front part of the lower leg
  • Pain that develops during exercise
  • Tenderness or soreness along the inner part of the lower leg
  • Pain on either side of the shin bone
  • Swelling in the lower leg (usually mild, if present)
  • Pain along the inner part of the lower leg
  • Muscle pain, numbness, and weakness in the feet

Causes of Shin Splints

Medial tibial stress syndrome can occur from the following:

  • Flat feet — when the impact of a step makes your foot’s arch collapse (your doctor will call this overpronation)
  • Shoes that don’t fit well or provide good support
  • Working out without warmup or cooldown stretches
  • Weak ankles, hips, or core muscles

Treatment for Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome

Treating shin splints typically includes the RICE method. However, it’s a good idea to see your doctor, especially if the pain is not subsiding.

Conservative methods, such as:

  • Rest your body. It needs time to heal.
  •  Ice your shin to ease pain and swelling. Do it for 20-30 minutes every 3 to 4 hours for 2 to 3 days, or until the pain is gone.
  •  Use insoles or orthotics for your shoes. Shoe inserts — which can be custom-made or bought off the shelf — may help if your arches collapse or flatten when you stand up.
  •  Take anti-inflammatory painkillers, if you need them.

Also see, Are Shin Splints Derailing Your Runs?


Although surgery is rare, it is possible. Surgical intervention usually is recommended if shin splints last for more than several months and are causing severe pain.

Fasciotomy: This procedure is the most common for shin splint. The surgeon will perform tiny cuts in the fascia tissue surrounding your calf muscles. And this will potentially relieve pain.

For a preferred specialist in Broward or Palm Beach County call us today at 954-906-9272 to schedule a consultation.