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What are Shin Splints? Causes, Symptoms and Prevention.

What are Shin Splints? Causes, Symptoms and Prevention.

Several conditions can cause pain in the lower leg, including shin splints. This condition is medically known as Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome (MTSS).

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The lower leg is made up of numerous tendons and muscles, and when these muscles are overworked there is pulling on the fibula and tibia which causes pain in the lower leg. The many causes of shin splints can be placed into two main categories, including overload or training errors, and biomechanical inefficiencies. To prevent shin splints people should make a special effort to improve their running form and warm up before working the leg muscles. Treatment for shin splints includes applying ice and heat, followed by rehabilitation to improve strength and flexibility of the injured tendons and muscles.

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Key Takeaways:

  • Excessive force can cause the tendons and fascia to partially tear away from the tibia and fibula bones.
  • Shin splints can be categories as bio-mechanical inefficiencies (primarily flat feet) or overload errors (e.g., exercising on concrete).
  • Warm-ups, proper running form, conditioning and the correct footwear are all important to preventing shin splints.

"Although the term shin splints are often used to describe a variety of lower leg problems, it actually refers specifically to a condition called Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome (MTSS)."

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