Shin splints refer to the sharp pains that occur down the front of the lower leg. They are a common complaint, particularly among runners and other athletes. Shin splints is a general term used to refer to a painful condition in the shins. It is often caused by running or jumping, and may be very slow to heal. Formal medical terms include medial tibial syndrome, medial tibial stress syndrome and stress-related anterior lower leg pain. Some object to the classification of "shin splints" as a diagnosis, and instead consider it to be a symptom of other underlying conditions.
One cause of shin splints is an overused muscle, either as an acute injury or DOMS(delayed-onset muscle soreness). The muscle pain is caused by any activity that involves running, jumping, also sometimes even walking, swimming or playing basketball. An individual not accustomed to running may experience pain in the shin muscles the next day even after a single, short bout of intensive running.
Inflammation of connective tissue
Shin pain may also be the result of inflammation of connective tissue such as periosteum (periostitis). The pain may be caused by a stress fracture in the bone or some other problem like osteosarcoma. Pain in the lower leg may also be referred from a distant area of the body, such as pressure on the sciatic nerve (sciatica) which lies in the posterior thigh.