Shin Splints

SHIN SPLINTS – A COMMON SPORTS INJURY

Shin splints are a common leg complaint, seen especially among runners, footballers and other athletes. The term shin splints is a general term often given to any pain at the front of the lower leg. The typical “shin splint” symptoms however, occur at the front and/or the inside of the shin bone and can arise from a number of causes including most commonly Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome.

Cause

Shin Splints usually occur during and after intense exercise and can be caused by improper stretching, or an existing issue like flat feet. Also, poor or worn footwear or standing for long periods of time can also cause shin splints. Other contributing factors may also include:

  • Tibial or fibular stress fractures
  • Chronic compartment syndrome
  • Muscle strains or tears (particularly of the tibialis anterior and posterior muscles)
  • Muscle imbalance
  • Direct injury or trauma
  • Sudden onset of physical activity – overuse

Treatment

Your Podiatrist may recommend a number of treatments depending upon the cause, stage and severity of your injury. Some possible treatments include:

  • Rest
  • Ice or Heat
  • Footwear assessment and advice
  • Stretches and strengthening exercises
  • Orthotics
  • Medications
  • Ultrasound

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