Think you’ve got shin splints, and you’re wondering what treatment is best to help you recover?
In this blog, the North West Physio team explains what shin splints are, how they can be caused, diagnosed and treated.
What are Shin Splints?
“Shin splints” is an umbrella term for pain felt along the tibia (shin bone), in particular the distal third of the shin bone.
The condition is worse with movement and when weight bearing.
People who have poor knee alignment, poor buttock control during exercise, tight calves and hamstrings, weak quads, or those who engage in moderate to intense physical activity such as running and tennis, tend to be more at risk of developing the condition.
The most common type of shin splits is also known as Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome.
Symptoms of Shin Splints
Pain felt around the shin bone – particularly on the inside of the shin – is the most common symptom felt by people with shin splints.
- It can be sore to touch the area after running.
- Pain can be present at the beginning of the workout, often disappearing while exercising, only to return during the cool-down period.
- When shin splints get worse, the pain can remain during exercise and can also could be present for hours or days after you stop the activity which induced the aching.
Causes of Shin Splints
Shin splints can be caused by a range of things including:
- The rate of tissue breakdown is greater than the rate of tissue repair (Overload injury)
- Doing too much too soon
- Not enough recovery time between exercise or activity
- Tight muscles
- Hills and hard surfaces
- Inappropriate shoes
- Weak arch muscles
- Poor technique
Shin Splints Treatments
Think you’ve got shin splints? It’s important to seek advice and treatment from a qualified health professional as soon as possible.
Why? Well, if shin splints are left untreated, they will progressively worsen and can lead to lower leg compartment syndrome, bone stress reactions and even stress fractures.
Treatment plans will need to be tailored each person depending on the cause of the shin splints, but typically include the following 6 things:
- Deloading the bone (E.g. take things easier by reducing training and resting more)
- Addressing the causes
- Training error
- Hip strength
- Over striding
- Calf strength
- Massage/ foam roller to calf and lower leg
- Practice lifting up the arch
- Calf raises while squeezing a ball between the ankles
- Taping to support the arch
Shin Splint Diagnosis
Shin splints can be diagnosed in the following ways:
- Subjective Assessment
- Pain in distal third
- Aggravated with activity and relieved with rest
- Nil neurological symptoms
- Matches with an increase in load
- Objective Assessment
- Pain on palpation
- Single leg hop <6-12 and painful
Physio for Shin Splints
Could you be suffering from shin splints? Don’t hesitate to reach out to our qualified and welcoming physio team today here.
North West Physiotherapy is your one-stop pain relief and healthy living practice in Brisbane. With four clinics across North Brisbane; Everton Park, Keperra, Eatons Hill and Nundah our aim is to provide holistic healthcare solution to suit your specific lifestyle.
Our services include Physiotherapy, Sports Physio, Hydrotherapy, Pilates, Podiatry, Dry Needling, Massage, Womens Health, and Seniors Strength and Balance Classes. Please note that services vary across our clinics.