Shin Splints

Treatment to help with Shin Splints in Loughborough & Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire.  

The term "shin splints" refers to pain along the inside of the tibia bone (the large bone at the front of your lower leg). Shin splints are common in runners, dancers and military recruits. Medically, this condition is referred to as medial tibial stress syndrome, and is commonly linked to repetitive stress of the shin and surrounding connective tissue. In my experience, shin splints are often present with poor knee and foot tracking, which is commonly linked to poor hip mechanics. The reasons for this must be explored, as there is often an in-balance of the stabilisers of the foot and ankle because they are unable to track straight. Inhibitions of the tibialis anterior and hyper tonicity of the tibialis posterior can sometimes be linked. Ultimately, if the mechanics of the hip and lower legs are corrected, through treatment and/or stabilisation exercises, the stress going through the tibia can be nullified and the pain of shin splints decreased / removed.

Shin Splints & Treatment

 

Medically known as medial tibial stress syndrome, shin splints often occur in athletes who have recently intensified or changed their training routines. Shin splints can also build over time if left untreated. 

Most cases of shin splints can be managed with rest and ice. Wearing proper footwear and modifying your exercise routine can help prevent shin splints from recurring. In some cases, orthotics can slow the rate of pronation during running which can lessen shock through the shins. 

Causes

 

Shin splints can be caused by repetitive stress on the shinbone and the connective tissues that attach your muscles to the bone.

Excessive shock through the foot and ankle can create micro traumas along the tibial sheath. 

Similar symptoms can also be caused by trigger point development in the tibialis posterior and calf muscles, from traumas to the lower leg.

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Risk factors

 

You are at higher risk of shin splints if:

  • You have poor running mechanics

  • You begin a running program after doing minimal exercise

  • You suddenly increase the duration, frequency or intensity of exercise

  • You run regularly on uneven terrain, or hard surfaces

  • You're in a training regime with a lot of volume, such as military training

  • You have poor posture

 

Preventions

  • Analyse your movement. A formal video analysis of your running technique can help to identify movement patterns that can contribute to shin splints. A slight change in your running technique can help decrease your risk. Many running shops offer gait analysis

  • Take it easy. Too much running or other high-impact activity performed for too long at too high an intensity can overload the shins

  • Correct Footwear. If you're a runner, replace your shoes about every 500 miles or 6 months

  • Consider orthotics. Arch supports can help prevent the pain of shin splints, especially if you have flat arches by slowing down the rate of foot pronation.

  • Shock-absorbing insoles. A softer landing with each stride can significantly improve symptoms of shin splints.​

  • Stabilisation training. Exercises to strengthen and stabilise your feet, legs, ankles, hips and core can help prepare your legs to deal with high-impact sports. Daily balance work can help the stabilisers of the feet.

 

 

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