Shin splints are named for pain to either side of the leg bone, caused by muscle or tendon inflammation. It is commonly related to a collapsing arch, but may be related to a muscle imbalance between opposing muscle groups in the leg.

They are usually caused by high impact exercise, improper stretching, or an existing issue like flat feet. Athletes and runners who change or increase their activity are at a high risk for shin splints. Also, high heels or standing for long periods of time can also cause shin splints. Wearing improper shoes, such as walking shoes while hiking can also put you at risk for shin splints. Shin splints cause the muscles in the lower leg to become inflammed and painful.


The symptoms include pain inside the shin, pain that occurs during activity or the next morning after activity, pain when flexing toes, and swelling of the shin are all common symptoms of shin splints. Hot and inflammed shins are another indicator that you may have shin splints. Your feet could become numb or feel weak when you have shin splints.


Proper stretching, icing, and rest can help to relieve the pain. Proper shoes and possible shoe inserts (orthotics) are essential for this condition. Shoes will help to absorb the shock on the lower leg. Surgery is a treatment option for those with extreme cases. You should speak to a podiatrist about treatment options.

Peter Wishnie, D.P.M.
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Owner of Family Foot & Ankle Specialists in Piscataway and Hillsborough, NJ. Make an appointment today!