Putting a Spotlight on the Cause of Shin Splints

“Shin splints refer to the pain & tenderness along, or just behind, the large bone in the lower leg (the tibia). They develop after hard exercise, sports, or repetitive activity. Shin splints cause pain on the front or outside of the shins, or on the inside of the lower leg above the ankle” [1]

Putting a Spotlight on the Cause of Shin Splints

This condition usually comes about after some one has been engrossed in hard exercise, sports, or repetitive activity. Such repetitive action can result in inflammation of the muscles, tendons, and thin layer of tissue which covers the shin bones [1]. This scenario can be very painful, and may affect day to day living. To that end, the best course of action is to book a consultation with a Pain Specialist. – They will give you an accurate diagnosis (as the symptoms could relate to other conditions); and then devise a Personalised Treatment Plan, which may include both conventional and cutting-edge solutions.

What Symptoms Should I Look Out For?

The most common symptoms of shin splints, comprise:
• Pain on the outside and front of the shin bone. (The pain is initially felt when the heel touches the ground when running). However, over time, the pain becomes continual, and the shin is painful to touch
• Pain which begins above the ankle, on the inside of the lower leg. The pain becomes worse when rolling the ankle inwards, or standing on the toes. As the condition develops, the pain escalates [1]

How Will the Pain Consultant Make a Diagnosis?

When you have an in-person or online appointment with the Pain Specialist, they will review your medical history, ask you a number of questions relating to your pain, and then, if necessary, conduct a physical examination, and arrange X-rays.

Your Personalised Treatment Plan will be based on various factors. These include:

• Your age
• Your medical history and general health
• How sick you are
• How well you tolerate specific therapies, procedures and medications
• The length of time the shin splints are predicted to last
• If possible, your preferred options [1].

Advice For Those Who Currently Have Shin Splints

Until you visit the Pain Specialist (who will give you further instructions), stop any activity that is causing the pain. Get plenty of rest and relaxation. And apply cold packs to the areas where you are experiencing the pain.


[1]. John Hopkins Medical (2022). “Shin Splints.”