Your shins are the front part of your legs between your knees and your ankles. Normally, these aren't areas of our bodies that we give much consideration to unless we get shin splints. Shin splints or shin-strains are a painful strain of the extensor muscles in the lower leg, caused in most cases by exercising on a hard surface. Shin splints are most prominent in runners, but are not exclusive to them. They are caused by overwork or excessive stretching of a muscle. Immediate treatment involves R.I.C.E., which stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation. An elastic bandage can be used for compression. One obvious way to prevent this type of injury is to avoid workouts on hard surfaces. However, since many of us don't have access to asphalt tracks or ideal workout areas, the next line of defense would be a proper warm-up and a good pair of athletic shoes. Most shoes lose their cushioning and should be replaced after three to six months of regular use. For more information about the prevention and treatment of shin splints, please consult your health care provider. When an injury occurs, consult your physician about appropriate treatment.