Shin splits are pains that occur on the front of the lower legs. While runners may be most familiar with this pain, other individuals may suffer from them as well. Repetitive activities, like running, are the most well known cause but flat feet, tight calves, improper training or shoes, or old shoes may cause shin splints. The repeated pulling of the muscle that attaches to the tibia causes shin splints. Symptoms of shin splints include pain of the muscle connected to the tibia (shinbone) and swelling. Shin splints may go away for some runners after they become acclimated to the activity, but for others, the pain can persist. It is important not to push too hard when shin splints are the issue because the result could be a stress fracture of the tibia. Rest and do not continue to do any activity that causes pain. Wait until the pain subsides before trying the activity again. Use ice and NSAIDS to reduce the inflammation. Proper stretching and shoes that fit properly may significantly help to prevent shin splints. If you suffer from flat feet, visit a podiatrist to receive information on how to treat that condition, maybe eliminating your shin splints in the process.