Shin Splints

What are Shin Splints?

Shin splints, also known as Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome, is an aching pain along the inner edge of your lower shin bone. The pain is brought on with exercise and involves the repetitive irritation of the muscles and connective tissue that attaches to the inner shin. If left untreated, shin splints may progress into stress fractures which take significantly longer to heal and will severely impact on your sporting performance.

Signs & Symptoms

  • aching pain at the inner part of your shin bone
  • brought on with exercise, but eased with rest
  • very tender to touch
  • can ache or throb at night (after exercise)
  • commonly seen in runners and walkers

How are Shin Splints caused?

Shin Splints are caused by the overstraining of the muscles and connective tissues that attach to your inner shin. This overstraining is largely due to poor movement patterns at the foot and ankle, in addition to training errors.

There are a number of risk factors that increase your chance of developing Shin Splints:

  • excessive pronation (flat feet)
  • a sudden increase in your training volume or intensity
  • running on hard or angled surfaces
  • poor flexibility in your ankle
  • tight calf muscles
  • weak hip stability muscles
  • poor running technique or inappropriate footwear
  • low bone mineral density, especially in mature females

How can we help?

  • Soft Tissue Massage to improve flexibility in your ankle and calf muscles. This will be combined with a home-based Stretching Program.
  • Acupuncture / Dry Needling to release trigger points that can cause inner shin pain.
  • Mobilisations / Manipulations (Adjustments) of the ankle and foot joints to help correct movement patterns with running.
  • Develop a Strengthening Program to increase your ankle and hip stability.
  • Foot & Shoe Assessment to identify if your feet are contributing to your injury.
  • Orthotics can be prescribed, if appropriate.
  • Perform a Treadmill Running Analysis to identify if your running technique may be contributing to your Shin Splints. Gait Retraining may be required to help reduce your symptoms.
  • Address any Training Errors. This will involve examining your current and future training schedule and advising you on an appropriately modified training program. We may recommend alternate forms of exercise to maintain your cardiovascular fitness during this period.

Are you tired of going out for a run only to have to stop and walk home because of shin pain? Are you frustrated they’re not getting any better and you now can’t run the distances you were previously able to? 

See an expert at Spine & Sports Physiotherapy now to run again free of pain or injury!!!