Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome

Mercy Health Tip of the Week by Mercy Health Athletic Trainer

Shin splints also known as Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome, can cause pain along the tibia or large bone in the front of your leg. They often occur in people who have recently intensified or changed their training routines. Shin splints are caused by repetitive stress to the connective tissues that attach your muscles to the bone.


If you suspect you have shin splints you may notice tenderness, soreness, mild swelling or pain along the inner part of your lower leg. Pain may only be during exercise or it can be continuous.

Risk Factors — You Are More At Risk For Shin Splints If:

  • You are a runner (or have just begun a running program).
  • You play sports on hard surfaces with sudden starts and stops.
  • You run on uneven terrain, or frequently change from flat to uneven surfaces.
  • You wear non-supportive shoes while training.
  • You have flat feet or high arches.


Rest — Avoid activities that cause pain, try low impact training like swimming, biking or water running. Ice the affected area for 15-20 minutes at a time about 5 times a day. Take an over the counter pain reliever.


Wear good supportive shoes while training. Ask your doctor or athletic trainer about arch supports, they may help. Lessen the impact on your feet by cross training. Add strength training and calf stretching to your routine.

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* This content is not intended to replace any formal training plans directed by licensed coaches. You should always get your doctors go-ahead prior to embarking on any fitness regime. Mercy Health, Glass City Marathon and the Toledo Roadrunners Club are not offering this content to replace a monitored training plan. — Use this content as conversation starters with your doctors, nutritionists, coaches, etc.