Shin splints — or medial tibial stress syndrome — are overuse injuries caused by repeated stress on the lower legs.
The tibia, the long bone in the front of your lower leg, becomes inflamed and painful.
Running is a common cause of shin splints, especially if you increase your level of activity too quickly.
Some factors make certain people more prone to get shin splints.
These shin splint risk factors include:
UPMC Sports Medicine experts can help design a training program that keeps up your endurance, while helping to avoid overuse injuries.
To make an appointment or learn more about shin splints, contact UPMC Sports Medicine at 1-855-93-SPORT (77678).
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Shin splints may cause the following symptoms:
To diagnose shin splints, your doctor will:
It's easy to confuse shin splints with stress fractures.
As a result, your doctor will assess your injury to rule out or diagnose a stress fracture before moving forward with a treatment plan for shin splints.
Unless your doctor suspects a more serious issue or bone problem, you won't need any imaging or diagnostic tests.
To make an appointment or learn more about shin splint symptoms, contact UPMC Sports Medicine at 1-855-93-SPORT (77678).
You can treat shin splints at home with rest and ice massages along the tibia.
If you can't completely stop exercising while treating shin splints, try compression therapy or kinesiotape. These may help improve your body's inflammatory response and increase blood flow.
If problems with your foot shape are the cause of your shin splints, be sure to:
Strengthening the muscles of your lower leg can help prevent shin splints.
To help lessen the stress on your lower leg, try adding cross training to your work out.
Add in exercises that are easier on the joints, such as:
Other ways you can prevent shin splints include:
A sports medicine doctor or physical therapist can provide the best advice for preventing shin splints.
To make an appointment for shin splint treatment, contact UPMC Sports Medicine at 1-855-93-SPORT (77678).
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