Shin splints, or medial tibial stress syndrome, is a very common condition. It is pain that runs along the shinbone, the long bone in the front of your lower leg (called the tibia). Shin splints aren’t a single medical condition. Instead, it’s a symptom of an underlying problem. The pain is the result of an overload on the shinbone and the connective tissues that attach your muscles to the bone. The causes are varied: flat feet, running, dancing, increased intensity of training, stress fractures (tiny hairline breaks in the bone), and a change of training surface (e.g., track to asphalt) can all be causes.
- Tenderness, soreness, or pain along the inner part of your lower leg
- Mild swelling
- Weakness or numbness in the feet
A calf strain is an injury to the muscles and tendons in the back of the leg, below the knee. Often called a “pulled” muscle, a strain occurs when the muscle fibers or tendons are stretched or torn. This condition can occur during any physical activity where you push off forcefully from your toes. It may occur in running, jumping, or lunging.
- Immediate calf pain
- You may hear or feel a pop or snap in the calf
- Difficulty rising on toes
- Bruising and swelling may occur