About 10% Of Runners Experience Shin Splints

About 10% Of Runners Experience Shin Splints

Shin Pain From Running Is Nothing New

If you’re a long-time runner, then it would come as no surprise if you’ve experienced shin splints at some point in your running career. If you are a running newbie or irregular runner, you may be lucky enough to have avoided this painful condition. As podiatrists, shin splints (also known as medial tibial stress syndrome) are one of the most common complaints we see from runners, afflicting 9.5% of this population.

‘Shin splints’ is a collective term to describe multiple different conditions that cause shin pain. It is generally related to either the shin bone, the muscles that run alongside the shin, or the periosteum (the connective tissue around the bone).

What causes shin splints?

Shin splints occur due to too much stress being placed on the related muscles and structures. This can happen for many reasons including:

  • Sudden increase in activity, especially for runners and dancers
  • Change in activity type (ie. starting to run hills)
  • Change in terrain
  • Foot posture (flat feet or high arches)
  • Tightness or weakness in calf muscles
  • Poor footwear
  • Previous history of stress injuries

What symptoms might I experience?

  • Pain localised to the shin, generally at the bottom third of the leg
  • Dull pain that can be sharp at times
  • Pain before and during exercise, or
  • In severe or long-standing cases, pain that does not dissipate after exercise and lingers at rest

How do we treat you for Shin Splints at The Movement Centre?

When it comes to managing shin splints, it’s important to address the acute symptoms before building up strength and exercise tolerance. At The Movement Centre, we begin by taking a thorough history and looking at all factors that may be contributing to your shin splints. We then ensure an accurate diagnosis after assessing you in depth. We will look at any particular movements that aggravate your pain, such as walking, running or dancing. This gives us a great deal of information about your foot and leg mechanics during these movements.

After we have identified the factors contributing to your injury, we will create a bespoke treatment plan to get you better. This may include:

  • RICE Protocol (Rest, Ice, Compress, Elevate)
  • Modify exercise loads and types
  • Exercise therapy – strengthening and stretching exercises to best promote healing. We will do this with you in the clinic and can provide ongoing exercise therapy sessions to keep you on track.
  • Shoe modification – appropriate footwear will decrease unnecessary load through the shin
  • Orthotic therapy – Provide customised foot/shoe devices that reduce stress on your tibia to promote healing
  • Shin splints can be well managed conservatively when treated appropriately. The Movement Centre podiatrists are experts at managing foot and lower leg pain, so make sure you call The Movement Centre or book online to receive this expert management.

    Disclaimer: The Movement Centre provides this information as an educational service. The information contained on this website and in this blog is not intended to serve as or replace actual medical advice. Anyone seeking specific advice or assistance should consult their local Randwick Physio, general practitioner, medical specialist, or otherwise appropriately skilled practitioner.