The lower leg pain resulting from shin splints is caused by very small tears in the leg muscles at their point of attachment to the shin. There are two types
- Anterior shin splints occur in the front portion on the shin bone (tibia).
- Posterior shin splints occur on the inside ( medial) part of the leg along the tibia.
Anterior shin splints are due to muscle imbalances, insufficient shock absorption or toe running. Excessive pronation contributes to both anterior to both anterior and posterior shin splints.
Symptoms: The pain may begin as a burning during activity or a dull aching sensation after walking or running. The aching may become more intense, even during the walking, if ignored. Tender areas are often felt as one or more small bumps along either side of the shin bone.
Causes of Injury:
- Tightness in the posterior muscles, which propel the body forward, places additional strain on the muscles in the front part of the lower leg, which work to lift the foot upward and also prepare the foot to strike the walking or running surface.
- Hard surface walking or running, or worn, or improper shoes increase the stress on the anterior leg muscles. Softer surfaces and shoe cushioning materials absorb more shock and less is transferred to the shins.
- The lower leg muscles suffer a tremendous amount of stress when a walker or runners lands only on the balls of the feet (toe running), without the normal heel contact.
- The muscles of the foot and leg overwork in an attempt to stabilize the pronated foot and the repeated stress can cause the muscles to tear where they attach to the tibia.
- Rapid increase of speed or distance.