Causes of shin splints

It's not always clear what causes shin splints.

They're usually brought on by running or repetitive weight bearing on the legs. It's thought this leads to swelling (inflammation) of the tissue around the shin bone.

Several things can increase your chances of getting shin splints, including:

  • a sudden change in your activity level such as starting a new exerciseplan or suddenly increasing the distance or pace you run
  • running on hard or uneven surfaces
  • wearing poorly fitting or worn-out trainers that don't cushion and support your feet properly
  • being overweight
  • having Flat feet orfeet that roll inwards (known as over-pronation)
  • having tight calf muscles,weak ankles, or a tight Achilles tendon (the band of tissue connecting the heel to the calf muscle)
Content supplied by the NHS Website

Medically Reviewed by a doctor on 21 Dec 2018