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Shin Splints

Shin splints is a general medical term denoting medial tibial stress syndrome (MTSS), a slow healing and painful condition in the shins, usually caused by exercise such as running, jumping, swimming, cycling, dancing or other sports.[1][2] Ten to fifteen percent of running injuries are shin splints.[3]


Causes The most common sources of shin splints are tendinitis, periostitis, stress fractures and compartment syndrome.[4] Mostly coming from the shoes the person might be wearing. The onset of shin splints is most common after exercise, caused by high impact training, excessive training, poor technique or biomechanical problems such as pes planus (flat feet) or pronation.[5][6] Shin splints are also a common problem in military recruits during training.[6][7] Some studies have suggested that shin splints are more common in women,[7] but this may be caused by decreased physical fitness and smaller muscle size. Standing for long periods of time and wearing high-heeled shoes may also induce shin splints.[3]

Anatomy of Shin splints

Stress fractures that result in shin splint pain come from overuse or repeated pounding of the feet from sports such as gymnastics. The downward pressure stresses the tibia which is the most prominent bone of the lower leg.

The pain associated with shin splints can also arise from the agitation of one or several muscles that surround the tibia of the lower leg. A study showed that the soleus, flexor digitorum longus, and deep crural fascia all originate in the region where patients complain of shin splint pain making them the most likely causes of pain.[8] These muscles become irritated when the impact of steps causes the arch of your foot to collapse, stretching the muscles and tendons.[9] This collapse of the arch is known as over pronation or "flat feet".

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