Pain in the shin is usually gradual onset and can be difficult to get rid of. Shin splints are known as pain on the inside of the shin but are not a diagnosis in itself but a description of symptoms. Most causes of shin pain in athletes are from bone stress, insufficient blood flow, tendon inflammation, compartment syndrome or nerve entrapment.
Shin splints is not a specific injury itself but are the common name often given to pain at the front of the lower leg of which there may be a number of causes. The most common cause is medial tibial stress syndrome.
Anterior compartment syndrome, also known as anterior shin splints arises when the big muscle on the outside front of the lower leg becomes too big for the sheath that surrounds it causing pain.
The tibia is the larger of the two shin bones and as a weight-bearing bone is more susceptible to stress fractures, particularly in the lower third. We explain the symptoms, causes, and treatment of a stress fracture in the tibia.
An acute fracture of the fibula bone in the lower leg occurs as a result of a direct trauma or impact to the leg or ankle. Stress fractures can also occur from overuse or repetitive impacts.
The tibia is the big bone in the lower leg. A tibial fracture is the most common injury of all long bone fractures and takes a variety of forms but usually involves a long period of immobility and a long recovery time.
Although the various causes of shin pain known as 'shin splints' are relatively common there are other less common causes of shin pain which should be considered including important conditions which should not be missed.