X-Ray Vision: Running into problems with shin splints

New York Daily News—New York—August 16, 2009

by Josh Dines, MD, and Rock Positano, DPM, MSc, MPH

As more of us of get outside to run in Central  Park or along the streets of Manhattan for the remainder of the summer, shin splints will probably affect at least some of us.

The term "shin splints" refers to pain and tenderness along the front and inner side of the bone in the lower leg, the tibia. Shin splints can cause significant pain that limits the ability to compete. The official medical term used to describe shin splints is "medial tibial stress syndrome" (MTSS).

The exact cause of shin splints remains unknown. It has been attributed to inflammation of the muscles, tendons and lining of the bone ("periosteum") in this location that causes pain after repetitive activities. Sometimes the bone is involved as well in more severe cases. Athletes who perform repetitive, vigorous physical activities are unfortunately at higher risk for developing shin splints.

Shin splints can be a tough diagnosis to confirm, and often can be made by excluding the other common causes for lower leg pain in athletes such as stress fractures. Athletes will complain about pain along the front and inside aspect of the lower leg during or after physical activity, such as running or jumping.

Read the full story at nydailynews.com.

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