CausesBy Mayo Clinic staff
Shin splints are caused by excessive force (overload) on the shinbone and the connective tissues that attach your muscles to the bone. The overload is often caused by specific athletic activities, such as:
- Running downhill
- Running on a slanted or tilted surface
- Running in worn-out footwear
- Engaging in sports with frequent starts and stops, such as basketball and tennis
Shin splints can also be caused by training errors, such as engaging in a running program with the "terrible toos" — running too hard, too fast or for too long.
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- Wilder RP, et al. Overuse injuries: Tendinopathies, stress fractures, compartment syndrome, and shin splints. Clinics in Sports Medicine. 2004;23:55.
- Stretanski MF. Shin splints. In: Frontera WR, et al. Essentials of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation: Musculoskeletal Disorders, Pain, and Rehabilitation. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2008. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/225926657-2/0/1678/72.html?tocnode=55148574&fromURL=72.html#4-u1.0-B978-1-4160-4007-1..50071-7_1137. Accessed Nov. 3, 2010.