Shin splints (also called traction periosteitis) is a condition that causes pain and sometimes swelling in the front part of the lower leg (shin). This condition is caused by inflammation of the fibrous covering of the bone (periosteum) and the attached muscle fibers.

Most often, shin splints are the result of repeated pounding (impact loading) on hard surfaces during athletic activities such as running, basketball, or tennis.

Rest from high-impact activities is usually the recommended treatment, along with using ice packs, warm soaks, protective wraps, and anti-inflammatory medicines. Sometimes physical therapy can be helpful.

Current as of: May 22, 2015

Author: Healthwise Staff

Medical Review: William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine & H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine