Shin splints is a general term for pain along the shin and lower leg. There are two types of “shin splints,” anterior and posterior. The most common is posterior, which is technically referred to as medial tibial stress syndrome (MTSS). MTSS is an inflammation of the tibialis posterior muscle that runs along the inside of the shin. Anterior shin splints are an inflammation of the tibialis anterior muscle which runs along the front and outside of the shin.
With both types of shin splints, a dull, diffuse pain is typically felt during or after a run. Many new runners will experience shin splints as they start to run, but this pain should go away after their body gets used to the stresses of running after a few days. If the pain does not go away or becomes more constant or sharp, it is possible that shin splints can develop into a stress fracture. There are many ways to prevent shin splints from progressing and it is important to seek advice early rather than let the pain get worse.