“Shin splints” (medial tibial stress syndrome) is a term used to describe shin pain along the inside or front edges of the Tibia (shinbone). It is caused by an increased stress or strain of the soft tissue (muscle) attachments on the shinbone.
Shin splints occur during physical activity and result from too much force on the shinbone and connective tissue attaching muscles to it.
Shin splints are common in runners and in those who participate in activities with sudden stops and starts, such as football, basketball and soccer.
There are two regions where you can suffer shin splints:
- Anterior Shin splints
- Posterior Shin splints
Anterior Shin splints:
are located on the front part of the shin bone and involves a muscle called the Tibialis Anterior. This muscle is responsible for Dorsiflexing (lifting) your foot at the ankle joint.
Posterior Shin splints:
are located on the inside, posterior part of the shin bone and involves a muscle called the Tibialis Posterior. This muscle is responsible for supporting and controlling the arch of your foot. When this muscle is weak, your arches tend to “collapse” or over-pronate, which causes excessive pulling and strain on the attachment of the Tibialis posteior muscle on the Tibia (shinbone)
Causes of Shin splits:
- Over training or Over loading (too much too soon)
- Foot posture/biomechanics
- Lack of flexibility/mobility an ankle joint
- Tight calf and hamstring muscles
- Poor footwear
- Weaknesses in proximal areas such as knees, hip and core
A Podiatrist is trained to help diagnose shin splints via a thorough clinical assessment and history taking. You may be sent for diagnostic imaging if deemed necessary.
Treatment for shin splints may involve:
- Rest or training load reduction
- Ice (after activity)
- Footwear changes or modifications
- Orthotic therapy
- Shockwave therapy
- Exercises- stretching and strengthening programs
If you believe you are suffering from shin splints, call 9939 1012 or Book Online to see one our of Podiatrists.