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

Vascular insufficiency

This may occur during exercise for a number of reasons. It is possible to have a trapped artery that reduces blood flow when exercising. 

Bone stress

This may include a fracture, stress fracture, or stress reaction, and occurs when increased loading occurs on bone. This pain is generally more focal.

Compartment syndrome

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.

Fitzroy Foot and Ankle Clinic - Podiatrists servicing Carlton, Clifton Hill, Collingwood and Northcote

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Fitzroy Foot and Ankle Clinic

460 Brunswick St, Fitzroy North, 3068

Ph: (03) 9485 8000

Fax: (03) 9485 8011