Shin splints are now being called medial tibial stress syndrome. It may sound like a fancy new name that describes what causes shin splints, but doctors and researchers are still not sure of the exact cause or causes of shin splints. You do not have to suffer with the pain. Find out what causes shin splints and try to avoid those triggers. There are also some great exercises to help stretch and strengthen your lower legs in hopes of avoiding shin splints. Photo © Terence Vanderheiden, D.P.M.