One common injury among runners is shin splints. This injury is also known as medial stress syndrome, and it could affect one in five runners. It manifests as a pain and tenderness in front of the lower leg between the ankle and the knee. Shin splints can be triggered by high impact exercise or repetitive activities causing the inflammation of the muscles and tendons covering the shin bone. This type of injury can be classified as a cumulative stress disorder.
The treatment of this injury starts with rest. Taking time off from the activities causing the pain is the first step. Ice and anti-inflammatory medication can be used to reduce the pain and inflammation. Using supportive shoes or orthotics during activities could reduce the stress on the shin bone. Stretching and strengthening exercises for the lower leg should also be incorporated in the treatment of shin splits.
There are ways to prevent developing shin splints. Some steps in prevention include wearing well fitted shoes with good support or shock absorbing insoles. A gradual increase in the intensity, duration and frequency of a new exercise program is also recommended. Alternating between high impact and low impact activities could also be beneficial in avoiding shin splints.