Shin splints are one of the most common complaints of athletes. Each year as their sports go back into season and practices start back up, athletes push themselves to get back into shape. As a result, athletes frequently end up with discomfort on the inside of the lower leg and chances are good that it\u2019s shin splints.\nMedial tibial stress syndrome (MTSS), or shin splints as it\u2019s more commonly known, is defined as pain along the tibia (the long bone in the front of your lower leg) that occurs during activity. This pain takes place when too much stress or force is placed on the tibia and surrounding anatomy.\nThose who experience MTSS describe their symptoms as pain along the tibia, pain before, during, and\/or after activity, and tenderness to the touch.\nCauses of Shin Splints\nSometimes it isn\u2019t just starting to exercise too quickly or too soon that can cause this pesky injury. In addition to not increasing your exercise gradually, there are certain biological factors that can make you more likely to get MTSS. Some of these include:\n\nProblems with the arch of your foot\nMuscular imbalances in the lower leg\nRunning on hard and\/or inclined running surfaces\nInadequate shoes\n\nTreating Shin Splints\nSome of the recommendations for treating MTSS include:\n\nRest is usually the biggest component in getting rid of this annoying injury. But if you absolutely cannot stop exercising, try icing to combat the inflammation that is taking place in your lower legs.\nCompression therapy, such as the use of neoprene sleeves, has risen in popularity, and can sometimes help with the body\u2019s inflammatory response to the acute injury. Kinesiotape, a tape that is thought to increase blood flow to the area, is another method of treatment that has become more in recent years.\nPrevention. Make sure to gradually increase the duration, frequency, and intensity of your runs. Consider purchasing quality running shoes and utilizing shock-absorbing insoles if necessary. And most important, let pain be your guide.\n\nA sports medicine physician or physical therapist can provide the best advice on treatment and prevention of shin splints. For more information, or to schedule an appointment with one of our sports medicine experts, call 1-855-93-SPORT (77678).