The biggest risk factor is over training. Beginners are also at increased risk because they are not used to the high impact running has on the muscles and joints of the lower leg and foot.
- Running on hard surfaces
- Excessive pronation
- Improper stretching
- Lack of warm-up
- Training too hard
- Increasing mileage too quickly
- Pain on the inside of the shin
- Lumps and bumps over the bone.
- Pain when the toes or foot are bent downwards.
- A redness over the inside of the shin
- If the pain is on the front outside of the shinbone it might be anterior compartment syndrome, which is a more severe problem - see your doctor
What you can do
- Apply RICE: rest - slows down bleeding and reduces the risk of further damage; Ice - eases pain, reduces swelling, reduces bleeding initially; compression - reduces bleeding and swelling; elevation - reduces bleeding and swelling by allowing fluids to flow away from the site of injury.
- See a sports injury specialist
- Shin splints are not as serious as stress fractures, but they often have similar symptoms. If you shin pain continues after three or more weeks, you should consider seeing you physician for a proper diagnosis.