SHIN SPLINTS COULD be any of the following injuries that cause pain in the front of the leg between the knee and ankle. Runners, dancers, fitness walkers and basketball players are especially prone to this progression.
* SOFT TISSUE INJURY: Twists and pulls can break down the soft tissue of tendons, ligaments and muscles, leading to inflammation and pain. Even without a pull, however, hard exercise can overwork the muscle cells and start inflammation. (In some people, repeated overuse can lead to compartment syndrome.)
* PERIOSTEAL INFLAMMATION: Fatigue is an ally of injury. For example, many tiring runners begin to slap their feet on the ground. Injured soft tissue has a hard time absorbing such impact, so more strain reachers the periosteum, a membrane that covers the bone. Repeated jarring or stress will damage the membrane.