What are shin splints?
Shin Splints are pain that is felt anywhere along the shin bone (tibia) from the knee to the ankle. The most common type is called Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome (MTSS) . They occur when the muscles, tendons or bone tissue around the tibia becomes inflamed.
What are the symptoms of MTSS?
There are four main stages to MTSS
- Pain or discomfort which disappears during a warm up activity
- discomfort which disappears during a warm up but returns at the end of your activity
- Pain which you feel worsen while performing an activity
- Constant pain or discomfort
What Causes Shin Splints?
The most common causes of medial tibial stress syndrome is:
- A sudden increase in the amount or intensity of exercise
- Using unsupportive footwear
- Fallen arches or flat feet
- Running / activity on uneven, sloped or hard surfaces
How do you treat Shin Splints?
Rest, ice and anti-inflammatory medication (e.g. ibuprofen) or creams can help to decrease the pain associated with shin splints. Manual therapy includes decreasing muscular tension in the calf and thigh as well as improving the quality of joint motion in the ankle, knee and hip. Stretching is used to decrease muscle tightness. In some cases, changing footwear or orthotics may be necessary to prevent reoccurrence. Once pain levels have stabilised, strengthening and progressive loading is recommended.
Always consult your GP or health care professional for guidance.
Written by: Dr. Ashvin Sangha (Osteopath )