Proud Member of Northwell Health Rehabilitation Network - Formerly North Shore LIJ
  • What are Shin Splints?

    Shin splints are an injury that is commonly related to repetitive impact or stresses. The term refers to pain located on the inner edge of the tibia (shinbone).  Medial tibial stress syndrome or medial tibial traction periostitis are found to be the more common medical terms used by your physician. The muscles of the lower leg pull on the periosteum or sheath surrounding the shin bone causing pain and inflammation.

    Causes:
    – Increasing running exercise to quickly
    – Over training on hard surfaces such as pavement or turf
    – Running on your toes
    – Over pronation
    – Over supination
    – Poor footwear

    Symptoms:
    – Sharp and razor-like or dull and throbbing pain
    – Occurring both during and after exercise
    – Aggravated by touching the sore area

    Treatment:
    Be sure to apply the RICE principle.
    – Rest: Be sure to halt all exercise that makes the injury worse. Replace running and jumping activities for those with lower impact, such as; cycling, elliptical or swimming.
    – Ice: Apply ice to the area several times a day for 20 minutes at a time.
    – Compression: Wear a compression sleeve or use an elastic bandage to help prevent additional swelling.
    – Elevation: Keep the injured limb raised higher than your heart to decrease swelling.
    – Get supportive shoes with good cushion to reduce the stress on your shins during daily activities.

    There are a few tips to preventing getting this injury. Instead of jumping right into exercise, gradually build up to the desired intensity and duration. Be sure to wear the proper footwear for your activity as well as your feet. Try alternating running activities with lower impact activities like swimming and cycling.