5 Things You Need to Know About Preventing and Treating Shin Splints

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athlete massaging leg with shin splints
Article via Muscle & Fitness | Kristin Mahoney

Shin splints are among the most frequent injuries to sideline runners—especially those who are just starting out or returning to the sport after a long layoff. But runners aren’t the only ones to feel the pain. Any activity that involves jumping (think: plyometrics, HIIT workouts, CrossFit, etc.) can cause shin splints. Here’s what’s really happening and how to keep your legs feeling strong and healthy.

WHAT’S A SHIN SPLINT?

“Shin splints usually occur following repetitive trauma to the connective muscle tissue surrounding the tibia, or shinbone,” says John Gallucci Jr., MS, ATC, PT, DPT, president of JAG-ONE Physical Therapy in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania. “This muscle breaks down and becomes inflamed. During the healing process, it forms scar tissue where one of the calf muscles adheres to the tibia, causing pain and tightness.”

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