2. Shin splints
What it is: Medial tibial stress syndrome, more commonly known as dreaded shin splints, cause pain on the inside surface of the shin, “especially when walking, running, and pulling the foot upward or stretching it downward,” Licameli says. The pain can occur on the inner or outer side of the shins.
What causes it: “There’s a muscle that attaches to the back of the shin bone and that muscle wraps around the inside of the ankle bone and helps to control the foot when it pronates [rotates inward and downward], and also helps during push-off to propel you forward,” Ferber explains. Shin splints happen when there’s repetitive trauma to the connective tissue that attaches this muscle to the tibia bone, says Gallucci. The tissue breaks down, becomes inflamed, and sometimes, scar tissue forms during the healing process, “which produces pain and tightness.”
How to fix it: Getting running sneakers with more cushioning is a good start, but shoe choice is just a minor part of this, Ferber says. “The true fix is strengthening.” He tells patients to follow a heel raises program (check it out here) to strengthen the calves and ankles.