What Are Shin Splints?

Shin splints, also referred to as tibial stress syndrome, are defined as pain in the front part of the lower leg which occurs after strenuous activity. This particular type of pain is generally associated with running or those sports which have high impact on the legs.

The severity of shin splints depends on whether or not high impact activity is continued. The first symptoms are usually a dull pain or ache in the shin but with continual activity the pain becomes more intense, almost to the point where exercise becomes limited as does walking or putting any weight on the lower limbs and feet. Knowing when to stop exercise is crucial in preventing any long term or permanent damage. Treatment often involves a rest from sports or the exercise that can caused the condition to occur. At least two weeks rest is recommended to help the shin to heal and repair any damage.

In many cases of shin splints there is often an underlying problem such as an injury to the bone or tissue surrounding the area. The most common cause of shin splints is medial tibial stress syndrome or MTSS, which is the result of frequent and intense exercise, particularly if and when the body is not properly warmed up or used to such intense force. Gradual progression is the best way to prepare for any sport and will reduce the risk of any injury from occurring in the first instance and developing into something which could even be permanent.

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