Shin Splints

Shin splints

What are Shin Splints?
Shin splints is a term used to describe pain along the shin bone (tibia). The tibia is the bone at the front of the lower leg that runs from the knee to your ankle. It’s a common sporting injury, particularly among runners and dancers.
What are the symptoms of Shin Splints?
Common symptoms of shin splints include tenderness, aching or slight swelling along the front of the lower leg. The pain is often worse when you do activities that involve supporting your body weight. Pain may be felt along the length of the shin, or only along a small section.
What are the causes of Shin Splints?
Shin splints occur when too much stress and strain is placed on the shin bone. This happens when there is repetitive impact on the shin bone during weight-bearing sports or activities. Shin splints often occur if there has been an increase in running mileage. The condition often arises in those with flat feet where the foot and leg roll inwards too much (pronates). This overloads the muscles and tendons in the shin and exacerbates the problem. Worn out footwear, muscle weakness and running on hard surfaces can all cause shin splints.
What should I do if I have Shin Splints?
Due to there usually being a clear link between shin splints and activity, modification of your current training regime may be required. A consultation with a podiatrist or physiotherapist may be necessary to assess the need for treatment.
What shouldn’t I do if I have Shin Splints?
Continuing to follow the same training regime is likely to worsen the condition, so a period of rest is necessary. ‘Running through’ the pain should certainly be avoided.
Could there be any long term effects of Shin Splints?
If the severity of the condition worsens, tiny fractures (microfractures) on the surface of the bone can develop. Podiatry treatment for Shin Splints The condition is common in those with flat feet where the arch of the foot is very low, and as a result the foot and leg roll inwards (pronate) to a greater degree than required. If a foot over pronates, the structures of the leg are stretched and put under stress. Orthoses (shoe inserts) can help control this overpull and support the arch, therefore reducing the stress on the muscles.

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