Shin Splints

What is Shin Splints? 

Shin splints, also known as medial tibial stress syndrome, are a very common complaint amongst runners or running sports e.g. basketball, netball, and football. Shin splints are the most common cause of painful shins. The pain may be dull or sharp, and is generally brought on by high-impact exercise that overloads the lower leg. 


 

Symptoms 

  • Pain along the front and/ or inside of the shin

  • Initial discomfort that disappears on warm up, and then can progress to returning at the end of activity

  • Shin pain that gets worse during activity

  • Pain may develop gradually over a period of time

  • Muscle tenderness or knots


 

Causes 

Shin splints can be caused by overstraining the muscles where they attach to the shin bone and often occurs as a result of sudden increase in duration or intensity of activity combined with errors in training and poor technique. Not building mileage gradually or sudden change in workout regime, or switching from running on the flat to hill running can also be a cause.


 

Treatment 

Shin Splints is a common problem that can be successfully treated using focused shockwaves.

Patients will usually experience a gradual decrease in pain over a period of around 10 weeks following treatment. 


 

Sources and Related Links


 

In-depth Information

There is no definitive consensus on what exactly a shin splint is, theories include tiny tears in the muscle, inflammation of the periosteum (a thin sheath of tissue that wraps around the tibia, or shin bone, an inflammation of the muscle or some combination of these.

 

Medial tibial stress syndrome is characterised by pain in two areas:

  • In and around the tibia (shin bone) along the inside and front edges of the lower leg. This involves the tibialis anterior muscle which lifts and lowers the foot.

  • Pain in the medial posterior aspect of the shin bone involves the tibialis posterior muscle which is responsible for lifting the medial aspect of the foot arch. Pain here can be a sign of posterior shin splints.

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