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Shin Splints: Why They Happen and How to Avoid Them

shin splints

What are shin splints?

Do you experience pain in your shins when you’re running? How about when you go on long walks? You may have shin splints, a common injury seen in runners and even long-distance walkers.They can also happen to dancers and people who who have flat feet or exercise without proper foot support or in a high-impact way.Basically shin splints occur because of repetitive activity that affects the muscle and bone tissue, causing inflammation in the lower leg, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. This causes pain along the border of the tibia, also known as the shinbone. “It’s a tough injury that can sideline runners, or anyone involved in a sport or activity that involves a high degree of running,” explains Blake Dircksen, a physical therapist at Bespoke Treatments in New York City. “It’s painful, stubborn, and debilitating.”Some other injuries that get lumped into the vague “shin splints” category are compartment syndrome, posterior tibialis tendonitis, flexor hallucis tendonitis, or strains of these muscles, explains Dircksen. “Medial tibial stress syndrome is the more accurate name for the sharp, bony pain felt right on that tibia bone, but it’s more commonly referred to as ‘shin splints,’ he explains. “And if you’ve been running for long enough, you’ll eventually experience itmaybe it’s a rite of passage!”(Also, be sure to check out what every woman needs to know about running.)

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