Shin splints is a common term used for pain along the inside or front of the shin that can be caused by various different conditions. It is an overuse injury characterized by pain onset from exercise particularly running.

Shin splints can be categorized into either of the following

–       Inflammation of tendons along the ankle

–       Inflammation of the membrane covering the tibia (tenoperiosteum)

–       Lower leg muscle tenderness, inflammation or trigger points

–       Shin bone (tibia) stress

–       Nerve entrapment

Common signs and symptoms of shin splints

–       Tenderness on the front or inner border of the shin

–       Lower leg pain worse with activity and settles with rest. In some cases can also remain with rest

–       Swelling sometimes present

Causes of shin splints

–       Changes in training program such as increased intensity, duration and distance

–       Poor footwear and foot biomechanics

–       Training on uneven or hard surfaces

–       Poor core stability

–       Tight calves, hamstrings

–       Weak Quadriceps or foot arch muscles

Treatment of shin splints

Correct diagnosis through a detailed medical history and physical examination by a physiotherapist is important to identify the exact cause of your shin pain.

Training should be ceased if the shin gets sore and anti-inflammatory modalities such as ice and medication can be of benefit in the early stages.

Physiotherapy treatment is focused on

–       Reducing stress on the affected area

–       Relieving pain through massage, ice, electrotherapy, dry needling or taping

–       Providing alternative programs to maintain fitness

–       Addressing biomechanical abnormalities causing pain

–       Gradual return to sport and functional activities

–       Screening intrinsic and extrinsic risk factors to prevent future injury

Consult one of our experienced physiotherapists at Bounce physiotherapy for a through assessment, diagnosis and management for your shin pain today!