Medical Definition of Shin splint

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Shin splint: An inflammatory condition of the front part of the tibia (the big bone in the lower leg) that results from overuse, as, for example, from running too much on hard roads or sidewalks. Shin splints are due to injury to the posterior peroneal tendon, ligaments, and adjacent tissues in the front (anterior) of the leg. The pain from shin splints is usually noticed early in exercise, then it lessens, and then it reappears later, during running or other activity. Characteristically, the pain is dull at first but intensifies with continuing trauma. Treatment involves a multifaceted approach of 'relative rest' and stretching exercises to restore the person to a pain-free state.

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Reviewed on 12/11/2018

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