A shin splint, also known as medial tibial stress syndrome (MTSS), is a common leg injury caused by an overuse of the front leg muscles or a sudden increase in physical activity that uses those muscles. The condition is characterized by pain along the inner edge of the shinbone (tibia).
“Shin splints” is a catch-all term given for pain that appears along the shinbone (tibia). The pain may be along the outside part of the leg (anterior shin splint) or the inside part of the leg (medial shin splint). The pain may disappear when you stop moving, but eventually the irritation in the shins may become continuous.
Shin splints most commonly occur in people who are physically active, such as dancers, runners and those in military training. They usually appear when a person intensifies or changes their pattern of activity (“too much, too soon”). The pain begins because the muscles, tendons and bone tissue in the area suddenly become overworked.
People who suffer from over pronation (which is when the foot rolls inward when it strikes the ground) have a tendency to develop shin splints.
Most shin splints aren’t serious and can be treated with rest, ice and over-the-counter pain medication. It is important that you cease physical activity, otherwise you risk the possibility of serious injury.
Some people may want to wear orthotics while the shin heals, especially is severe over pronation causes the shin splints.