(Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome)
Shin splints is a broad term used to describe pain and swelling in the outer aspect of the tibia or shins. Shin splints are usually the result of repetitive stress on the bone due to excessive physical activity with little rest and poor biomechanics. Untreated and unresolved, shin splints can result in stress fractures.
- Redness or swelling of the shins
- Pain and discomfort increases during physical activity
- Symptoms are often bilateral
A diagnosis of medial tibial stress syndrome or shin splints is pretty straightforward. The clinician will review the patient’s past medical history, the patient’s involvement in sports and perform a physical examination to confirm the condition.
Shin splints can usually be resolved with an adequate rest period of a few weeks. NSAIDs, icing, stretching and properly fitted shoes are useful in preventing the condition from progressing. The cause of the shin splints may be biomechanical, so supporting flat feet, tight calves or any other underlying condition may be necessary to ultimately resolve the shin splints. Orthotics, refining a physical training regimen and physical therapy will also help in resolving the condition if rest was not adequate enough treatment.