Shin-splints are a major problem to the athlete that account for approximately 10 to 15 percent of all running injuries. The pain is commonly felt on the front of the lower leg. It is a seasonal pathology caused by overuse of muscles in the lower leg.
Frequently athletes get shin-splints from inadequate preseason preparation. When you run and jump, the lower leg muscles contract with a great deal of force. If the soft tissue structures of the lower leg are not properly conditioned, the repetitive stress will cause micro tears where the muscle attaches to the bone.Various stresses can produce tendonitis of the lower leg. Changes in running surfaces, usually changing from hard gym floor to soft field running. Joggers who run downhill for an extended period of time may develop shin pain. This is caused by a much longer and more forceful contraction on the lower leg muscles.
Sometimes shin-splints can be caused by over pronation (flat feet). In those athletes without adequate arch support, their mid-foot collapses every time their foot hits the ground. With continual running the tendon of the posterior tibialis muscle develops minute tears where it attaches to the bone.
This type of pain is felt more on the inside of the lower leg as opposed to the front. Treatment for this type of shin splint is to maintain proper arch support. This can be accomplished by purchasing off the shelf arch support inserts. If off the shelf supports do not do the trick, custom made orthotics will give you the needed support.
The treatment for shin-splints is simple, rest. In serious cases you should apply ice and take anti-inflammatory medication (ibuprofen). For persistent shin pain you should see your doctor because you may have other problems that are just mimicking shin-splints, such as stress fractures, or other lower leg problems.