The term is generally used for pain along the inside of the lower part of your shin bone and should rather be termed medial tibial traction periostitis or medial tibial stress syndrome. Increasing the impact/running distance or different running surface can cause excessive stress to the attachment of the muscles and lead to a painful inflammation on the inside of the shin. Inappropriate footwear, running surface, poor biomechanics and muscle tightness may be responsible for the painful periostitis/stress response. Appropriate imaging will help to rule out a stress fracture or other pathologies.
Treatment for Shin splints
In almost all cases conservative treatment will be sufficient to be able to resume all activities. Relative rest which means avoiding stress to the attachment of the muscles at the level of the shin will help but further input from physiotherapy and footwear modification/insoles will be necessary. A thorough gait analysis will detect if there is abnormal movement in the ankle or foot (overpronation, forefoot overload…) and this will affect the recovery. Surgery is normally not necessary.