What is it:
Shin splints is a broad term used to describe pain in the front and inside of the shin. It is most commonly experienced after starting or an increase of physical activities or after a change of ground surface for physical activities. The pain can derive from different causes such as:
- Inflammation of the muscles around the shinbone,
- Inflammation of the periosteum layer which is a membrane the covers the outer layer of the bone
- Micro-tears in the muscles attached to the shin bone
- High level of physical activity
- Increase of physical activity
- Training on hard surfaces
- Poor footwear
- Pronated foot type
- Reduced ankle dorsiflexion
- Previous history of shin splints
- Conditions that effect bone density.
Symptoms & signs:
- Tenderness along the shin bone
- Rarely traumatic event involved, gradual onset.
- Pain worsens with increased duration, or intensity with running or jumping activities.
- Pain reduces once exercises ends
- Delayed onset muscle soreness (soreness that occurs a day or two following exercise).
- Supportive footwear
- Avoid high impact activities and activities that requires hills, stairs and hard surfaces
- Relative rest (cycling, swimming, low impact activities) or complete rest may be required for 2-6 weeks to allow the shin to heal
- Pain relief medication
- Footwear assessment and advice
- Dry needling
- Manual therapy
- Stretching and strengthening exercises
- Return to sport programme to prevent re-injuring.
- Orthotic therapy to address any biomechanical abnormalities that puts strain on the shin bones