In many cases you will be able to judge the severity of shin splints yourself. If you need to see a doctor, she will typically discuss your symptoms, your overall health, and how the injury happened. The doctor will check for tenderness, pain, and/or swelling in the lower leg. Additionally, the doctor will look for foot issues, such as pronation, and may request an x-ray to rule out stress fractures or bone abnormalities.
Note: Seek medical attention if you have difficulty walking, or the pain is significant or unbearable.