Shin Splints is a generalised term to describe several different conditions that cause pain around varying parts of the shin region.  There are several structures that can cause pain in this area so it is very important to get a correct diagnosis from your physiotherapist.  Different types of shin splints  occur in long distance runners, impact and jumping sports.

What are the causes of shin splints?

Repetitive stresses such as running or walking on hard surfaces for prolonged periods of time, particularly with a large increase in volume over a short period of time. Shin splints are often associated with poor foot & leg biomechanics.

  • Inflammation:  at the insertion of the muscles onto the bone, particularly tibialis posterior and soleus muscles in the calf.  This presents as quite diffuse pain along the medial tibia (inside of the shin).
  • Vascular insufficiency:  altered blood flow either into or out of the leg can present as pain in the calf.
  • Compartment syndrome:  this typically presents as increased aching pain and tightness during exercise, with no pain at rest.  Your lower leg has several muscles divided into four compartments separated by thick inelastic fascia.  Overuse and inflammation of the muscles can increase the pressure within the compartment and reduce blood flow to the muscles. The pain in this type of injury is described as tightness and settles within minutes of cessation of the aggravating activity. Occasionally patients complain of pins and needles in the feet also.
  • Nerve entrapment:  less common but can cause pain in the shin.

What Turramurra Sports & Spinal can do to treat Shin Splints!

  • Specific exercises.  An initial period of relative rest will be essential. Relative rest does not necessarily mean a complete cessation of aggravating activity but most certainly a reduction in it.   We will advise you on appropriate cross-training exercises to keep up your fitness and not cause pain.  You will need a specific strengthening program with a gradual return to running.
  • Soft tissue release:  Release spasm in the muscles surrounding the calf and shin.
  • GaitScan&  Orthotic prescription  to align your foot and lower limb. Call 9144 1510 to book your free Gaitscan.

Suitable Products for shin splints include:

  • Orthotics: help control excessive pronation and improve lower limb alignment
  • Foam roller: used to massage and loosen tight muscles around the calf.
  • Trigger Ball: also used to massage and loosen tight muscles around the calf.
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