Shin Splints Symptoms

Shin splints symptoms, caused by Tibial Stress Syndrome, are experienced by nearly all individuals to some degree at one time or another.  They can affect people in any age group.  The more active one’s lifestyle is, the more likely they are to suffer from shin splints symptoms.  They are extremely common in runners and other athletes.  Shin splints symptoms are also commonly experienced by individuals who exercise at home, particularly after increasing the intensity of their workout.

Shin splints symptoms, depending on the cause and severity, may include the following:

  • Light, dull pain in the front part of the lower legs.
  • Pain experienced on one or both sides of the lower legs.
  • Swollen and sore muscles in the lower leg area.
  • Swollen and/or aching in the feet, particularly in the arch and heel portions.
  • Hairline fractures in the tibia (the larger bone in the lower leg), which can result in severe, debilitating pain.

Shin splints symptoms may only be experienced during or after exercise, or they may be constant.  People whose job requires a lot of walking on hard, concrete floors or pavement are likely to experience some degree of shin splints symptoms, even if they do not exercise.

An individual suffering from shin splints symptoms should consider doing one or more of the following:


  • If the shin splints symptoms start to occur during exercise, STOP.  Consider a lower-impact exercise regimen, at least until the shin splints symptoms fully improve.
  • Ice packs may be applied to the affected area to alleviate pain and reduce swelling.  Ice should be used every three to four hours until the pain and soreness has subsided (usually 1-3 days, depending on how severe).
  • Take over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications like Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) or Naproxen (Alleve).
  • If your shoes lack sufficient arch support, quality arch support inserts should be purchased.
  • Neoprene sleeves may be worn to support, protect, and warm the lower leg area.  The sleeves can easily be worn under clothes, and not just during exercise.

The important thing is to use good common sense.  If you are experiencing shin splits symptoms, you need to listen to your body.  People who convince themselves that the pain will go away and that they should just work their way through it could end up with severe damage that will require surgery and could take up to six months to fully recover.  It is also possible to cause permanent damage that could result in living with shin splints symptoms for the rest of their lives.

To avoid shin splints symptoms as much as possible, always do the following:

  • Only wear shoes that have a lot of padding and good arch support.  This should be the number one consideration when buying shoes.
  • Stretch and warm up completely before beginning exercise or other physical activity.  Particular attention should be paid to the lower leg area.
  • At the first sign of pain in the lower legs, stop whatever activity you are doing and sit down to take the load off of the legs.
  • As much as possible, avoid running or hard walking on hard surfaces like concrete and asphalt.

Shin splints symptoms can usually be alleviated and avoided completely if people act prudently.  It’s just that so many individuals are not aware that their symptoms are sometimes an early warning sign of bigger and more painful problems to come.  It’s always best to use good common sense.  If your body is telling you something, listen to it.  Symptoms of any kind, including shin splints symptoms, are your body’s way of telling you that something is not right.  Take heed, and you just might be able to save yourself a lot of pain and a lot of other headaches.