What causes shin splints?

Shin splints are usually caused by exercise such as running, jumping, swimming, cycling, dancing or other sports.  The onset of shin splints is most common after exercise, caused by high impact training, excessive training, poor technique or biomechanical problems such as flatfeet or pronation.  Many cases of shin splints may be due to improper footwear, standing for long periods of time or wearing high-heeled shoes. 

How are shin splints treated?
Treatment for shin splints is as simple as reducing pain and inflammation and identifying training and biomechanical problems which may have helped cause the injury initially.  The following are tips to help treat shin splints:

  • rest to allow the injury to heal
  • apply ice in the early stages to reduce pain and inflammation
  • stretch the muscles of the lower leg
  • maintain fitness with other non weight bearing exercises such as swimming and cycling
  • apply heat and use a shin and calf support
  • take anti-inflammatory medication