Shin pain is a common occurrence in many running sports. It is an ‘overuse injury’, that occurs due to repetitive loading of your lower legs. For that reason, it is especially prevalent through the summer months when many winter sports are going through their preseason phase with large quantities of running on hard surfaces. The old generic term shin splints actually means one (or a combination) of following three possibilities:
1. Tibial (shin bone) Stress Fracture
Stress fractures are caused by little micro-fractures that have occurred within the bone itself.
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2. Tibialis Posterior Tendinopathy
Tibialis Posterior Tendinopathy occurs when there is when inflammation of the muscular attachment along the inside of the shin bone. This usually occurs due to the over pronation (rolling inwards) of the foot whilst running.
3. Compartment Syndrome
Compartment Syndrome (see image, right) occurs when the lower leg muscles become too big for the compartment of connective tissue that surrounds them.
Copyright © Mayo Clinic
What causes shin splints?
Shin splints are an overuse injury that occurs due to repetitive loading of your lower legs. For that reason, it is especially prevalent through the Summer months when many Winter sports are going through their pre-season training phase due to increased running on hard surfaces.
In many cases, poor foot biomechanics are an underlying issue.
How are shin splints treated?
The use of ice, combined with regular stretching and massage of the calf muscles is a good start in managing all of these conditions. You should then consult with your physiotherapist to obtain an accurate diagnosis, and to have the right rehabilitation program designed to counter your particular predisposing factors.
Your Back In Motion physiotherapist can also use Gaitscan™ - a free, painless 20-minute scan - to give you a more accurate picture of your foot function.
Impacted by shin pain? Contact us today to book your Free Initial Assessment.
Adrian Quinn (B.Physio) - Practice Director @ Back In Motion Camberwell