Shin Pain

Shin splint is a term used to describe pain in the front of the lower leg. The common causes of shin pain in athletes are as following -Bone stress which can range from a mild bone strain to a full stress fracture.
Bone stress which can range from a mild bone strain to a full stress fracture. Insufficient blood flow through the arteries and veins either because of poor circulation, thrombosis or disease blocking blood flow, or increased pressure from muscles surrounding the blood vessels. Inflammation of the tendons which insert at the lower third of the inside of the shin. A compartment syndrome where the pressure inside a muscle compartment is increased causing pain.

Shin pain is a common injury in many running based sports, e.g. basketball, netball, football.

It is characterised by pain in and around the tibia
(shin bone) in the lower leg and usually occurs as a result of a sudden increase in the frequency, duration and/or intensity of activity.


  • Abnormal biomechanics – overpronation, tibial malalignment e.g. bowed legs.
  • Training methods – inappropriate increases in the intensity, duration or frequency of exercise.
  • Training surfaces – running on hard surfaces or uneven ground.
  • Footwear – wearing inappropriate footwear for the activity or worn out shoes.
  • Poor flexibility, muscle imbalance or inadequate strength – affecting muscles of the lower limb.


  • Undertaking training prior to competition to ensure readiness to play.
  • Undertaking fitness programs to develop strength, balance, coordination and flexibility.
  • Gradually increasing the intensity and duration of training.
  • Always warming up, stretching and cooling down.
  • Wearing appropriate footwear for your foot type and activity.
  • Replacing worn out footwear.
  • Considering biomechanical screening to identify problems before they arise.
  • Allowing adequate recovery time between workouts or training sessions.
  • Checking the sporting environment for hazards.
  • Drinking water before, during and after play.
  • Like most overuse injuries, shin pain may develop gradually over a period of time. Often the early signs are ignored and those experiencing the symptoms continue the activities causing their problem. Early assessment and treatment of shin pain can make a significant difference, and can prevent this problem before it becomes severe.