‘Shin splints’ is another umbrella term that refers to pain in the lower leg that occurs usually at the start of and after activity. The pain usually ‘warms-up’ and eventually subsides during activity but returns again after cool down. The exact cause of the pain is not well understood but it is believed to arise due to either an overload of the muscles and tendons that attach to the shin bone (tibia) or bending of the tibia itself due to the impact forces of walking and running.
Faulty biomechanics (i.e. walking or running technique), poor footwear, body weight or just a change in routine are all likely to be involved in the development of this condition.
This condition needs to be managed not only from a physical side but also mentally. Because the pain usually eases after a few minutes of activity and actually feels good, it is easy to push too hard and inflict further injury. By the time the shins come to hurt again the damage has already been done.
Your podiatrist will look after the physical treatment of the shin splints by addressing the cause. However, you need to have the mental strength not to push too hard whilst the shins feel good. This sounds ironic and it is, but it is also why shin splints are a curse to walkers and runners alike.