A very common complaint of almost every athlete at some point. Shin splints is a common term referring to pain to the lower leg. Most will agree that it involves the two muscles that run from the knee to the ankle and the side of the foot.

Generally caused by overuse, inflexibility, poor conditioning habits.


  • Pain to front or side(s) of lower leg
  • Aching
  • Occasionally swelling anywhere in lower leg


  • Rest
  • Elevated affected area
  • Ice affected area for 24 - 48 hours (15 minutes with ice, 15 minutes without ice)
  • Strengthening exercises for ankle/calf
  • Stretching the Achilles tendon and anterior muscles in the lower leg
  • Gradual return to activity


  • Proper shoe size and condition
  • Flex and stretch exercises: 20 - 30 seconds leg and calf stretches, 3 - 5 minutes before and after exercise
  • The most effective taping procedure is taping the arch to provide support

Reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional.

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