Tibialis anterior and posterior muscles function to stabilize the foot and arch in gait, and help to absorb shock and control pronatory motion of the lower ankle (subtalar) joint.
The term "shin splints" is a catch-all description of shin pain which can be from many causes. The most common causes include:
Strained or over-worked muscles in the leg.
Bone which may be bruised, inflamed or have a stress fracture.
The muscles that cause shin pain most commonly are the Tibialis anterior and posterior. Both of these muscles function to stabilize the foot and arch in gait, and help to absorb shock and control pronatory motion of the lower ankle (subtalar) joint. These muscles are in the front (anterior) and back (posterior) of the leg and have tendons that insert into the foot. When these muscles are over-worked or strained, shin pain may develop. Depending on the severity of injury, pain can occur with or without activity. Pain can be in the muscle belly or the muscle attachment on the bone or in the tendon.
Activities which involve running or high impact are common causes of injury. This is because with running, 3 to 4 times ones body weight goes through the foot and leg with each stride, and the muscles are unable to meet these demands. If you have this injury, first rest and ice daily until you are pain free. Then, to avoid re-injury build up your athletic activity gradually by working out initially every other day, and not increasing the duration or intensity of the activity more than 10% per week. Despite following sensable training many atheletes will get shin splints. There are alot of factors that can contribute to shin splints and a visit to Dr. Ehrenberg can determine the nature of your problem and get you on the path to recovery.