Shin Splints (tibial stress syndrome)

Shin splints is a common term for pain or inflammation in the front or inside section of the tibia.


The patient will complain of tightness or tenderness and sometimes throbbing pain along the border of the tibia. The symptoms occur with a specific activity (especially running and walking long distances) and often settle with rest. Often, it will start with a dull ache but quickly become sharper and more aggravated.


Anterior tibial stress is often experienced by new runners or walkers when pain occurs in the anterior muscles of the shin during exercise.

Posterior shin splints (medial tibial pain) is a more chronic condition occurring along the inside edge of the tibia. It generally occurs with overuse during sports.

Both conditions are related to excess stretching (traction) of soft tissue structures along the shin bones (tibia and fibula). Excessive subtalar joint pronation and internal tibial rotation increase the medial tractional forces upon the deep flexors and extensors of the leg. This is a common factor in muscular overuse conditions and commonly exhibits secondary periosteal swelling due to tractional forces placed upon the soft tissue structures on the tibia and fibula.