Shin splints suck. Been there, done that. In my experience, however, they’re pretty easy to avoid for experienced runners, since they tend to come on when you return to running after an extended period of time off, or when you increase load too quickly. My last bout was in 2002, when I started doing track work in Barton (lots of fast running for the first time in years, with tight turns) and was wearing shoes with too many miles on them. In other words, being stupid. New runners are also prone to shin splints due to their bodies not being accustomed to the stress of running.
Despite the pain at the shin bone (tibia), the problem is usually related to small tears in the muscles around the tibia. Rest is the primary treatment, and then a gradual increase of load. It’s common to see recommendations for ice and ibuprofen, but I’m not a fan of either. Research doesn’t support ice having any beneficial effect other than temporary pain relief, and ibuprofen reduces the body’s inflammatory response, which is necessary to heal the muscle tears and by reducing the pain, makes it more likely that you’ll inadvertently overdo things.
Again, the PainScience guy has a book on this that I’d recommend as a start. But share your experiences and we’ll build up more advice here.
And more from the Running Writings Injury Series from 2012: