Also called medial tibial periostitis, this is exercise-induced pain at the front of the lower leg. Shin splints can result from not warming up properly, the stress of a sudden increase in training volume, running on hard surfaces, poor technique, or biomechanical abnormality.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?
You may feel a dull ache on the inner side of your shin that intensifies when begin exercise. There may also be swelling. Shin splints can be caused by compartment syndrome, or result in stress fracture.
WHAT IS THE TREATMENT?
Stop your training programme and follow the RICE procedure. If there is no improvement after two to three weeks of self-help, seek medical advice. Your doctor will carry out a physical examination, and may suggest an ultrasound or MRI scan. Stronger pain relief may be recommended and you may have to visit a physical therapist for strengthening exercises. Rarely, surgery is needed.
WHEN CAN I RETURN TO RUNNING?
You should be fully fit again within three to six months, or three months after an operation.