The term 'shin splints' is a lay tern used to describe exercise induced pain in the front of lower legs. Shin splints are a common complaint amongst active people.
Shin pain may be caused by a number of different pathologies, so it is important to see a podiatrist for a proper assessment.
Pathologies causing shin pain include:
Medial tibial stress syndrome
This condition is generally what people call 'shin splints'. It is shin pain that is diffuse across the lower third of the leg during exercise
This may occur during exercise for a number of reasons. It is possible to have a trapped artery that reduces blood flow when exercising.
This may include a fracture, stress fracture, or stress reaction, and occurs when increased loading occurs on bone. This pain is generally more focal.
Muscles in the lower leg are grouped in compartments by connective tissue. If this connective tissue does not stretch during exercise, pressure can build and cause pain.