Shin splints is the common name for the condition medial tibial stress syndrome. It can be described as pain anywhere along the shin bone from the knee to the ankle.
The most common cause of shin pain is inflammation of the periostium of the tibia (sheath surrounding the bone). Traction forces on the periosteum from the muscles of the lower leg cause shin pain and inflammation.
Shin splints can be caused by a number of factors which are mainly biomechanical (abnormal movement patterns) and errors in training and include:
- Overpronation of the feet
- Oversupination of the feet
- Inadequate footwear
- Increasing training too quickly
- Running on hard surfaces
- Decreased flexibility at the ankle joint
- Shin pain over the inside lower half of the leg.
- Pain at the start of exercise which often eases as the session continues
- Pain often returns after activity and may be at its worse the next morning.
- Sometimes some swelling.
- A redness over the inside of the shin (not always present).
It is important to assess the biomechanics of the lower limb and foot to determine any factors that may predispose you to poor shock absorption or musculature imbalance resulting in shin splints. An in depth biomechanical analysis will enable the podiatrist to assess foot motion with respect to the lower limb, assess joint ranges of motion and assess muscle balace. This will facillitate diagnosis of the muscles becoming fatigued and being overworked.
Podiatry treatment includes realigning the foot with respect to the leg to improve the efficiency of mechanics. At Eastern Foot Care our podiatrists will provide:
- stretching and strengthening programs
- orthotic therapy
- dry needling
- therapeutic ultrasound
- footwear advice