What are shin splints? Also known as Medial tibial stress syndrome this is where there is pain between the tibia and ankle.
Why?! These injuries are caused by repeated trauma to connective muscle tissue surrounding the tibia. They can also be caused by muscle imbalance, for example if your calf muscles (soleus and gastrocnemius) are more muscular than the muscles on the front of your leg.
If you follow me on instagram or are a real life friend you would know that starting at the end of last winter and during the summer shin splints plagued me and made me miserable. I have played soccer for years and have never experienced them before this year! It was bizarre and frustrating, because I usually run 15-20 km a week outside of soccer and was unable to do any running.
Treatment: Rest! Continuing activity can make things worse, ice/heat repetition, and stretching your shins. Also if all else fails, beer and a salt/bubble bath ;)
Prevention: Strengthening of your tibialis anterior muscle (shin). One exercise that works really well and helped me get rid of my shin splints are toe taps! They're an incredibly easy exercise that are super helpful. Two different ways to work your shins below and here