Harvard Health Letter

Ask the doctor: Shin splints at any age

Q. I'm an older runner, and I've developed shin splints. What causes them, what are the treatments, and how can I prevent them from coming back?

A. Shin splints involve injury of the muscles in the inner part of your lower leg. The exercise that causes shin splints most often is running. And the thing that most often leads to running-related shin splints is putting those muscles to a test that they're not yet ready for. Running much faster or longer than before, or on a different surface, is what most often causes the injury.

The best way to prevent shin splints is to warm up thoroughly before running. Build up slowly to your goal. Don't increase the intensity or the duration of your running by more than about 10% per week.

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