Shin Splints2018-11-15T11:10:39+00:00

Shin Splints

Shin splints – also referred to as ‘medial stress syndrome’ – describes pain felt between the knee and ankle, along the inner edge of the shinbone. Athletes who participate in sports involving lots of running or jumping are often prone to shin splints as well as tennis players and dancers.

Active Release Technique (ART), fascia manipulation and taping can generally help to ease the pain of shin splints.

Athletes who push themselves beyond their fitness capabilities often suffer from shin splints, as well as those who participate in high-impact activities performed on hard surfaces or without proper protection such as shock-absorbing shoes or compression bandages. Shin splints are considered to be an injury provoked by ‘over-use’ and can sometimes be avoided by gradually increasing exercise intensity over time rather than at once.

Causes of shin splints

Although the exact cause of shin splints is unknown, there are a number of factors that are thought to contribute to this condition, including:

  • Over-use of the muscles
  • Exercising beyond current level of fitness
  • Poor (running) technique
  • Improper footwear
  • Running or exercising on hard surfaces, such as asphalt
  • Overpronation (flat feet)
  • Stress fractures in the lower leg bones

Other symptoms of shin splints

Shin splints usually affect only one leg at a time, although it’s possible for both shins to be affected. The pain is generally described by sufferers as ‘dull’ at first, but over time it can become more painful if left untreated. The pain is more generalized rather than isolated to a specific area – this is usually indicative of a stress fracture rather than shin splints.

Athletes who suffer from shin splints will often experience the following symptoms:

  • Dull ache along the shinbone
  • Tenderness along the shinbone
  • General pain, as opposed to localised pain
  • Pain which feels worse the following day, due to the skin tightening
  • Pain which eases during the course of a workout and returns towards the end
  • Red or swollen skin around affected area
  • Shin pain which becomes increasingly worse over time if left untreated

Top tips for preventing shin splints

  • Ensure you wear proper footwear when exercising
  • Always do warm-up and cool-down exercises when doing physical activity
  • When running, choose softer, flatter surfaces to minimise the impact on your shins
  • Don’t go too hard to fast – gradually increase exercise intensity over time, to match your fitness levels
  • Consider inserting shock-absorbing orthotics into your shoes
  • Consider using taping or bandaging your legs, to bind your tendons to the shin
  • Alternate high-impact sports with low-impact cross training activities

Effective treatment of shin splints

In most cases, shin splints can be effectively treated at home, by following some simple guidelines:

  • Get plenty of rest
  • Use an icepack on your shins
  • Take anti-inflammatory painkillers
  • Perform strengthening exercises
  • Use orthotic insoles
  • Stick to low-impact exercise during recovery
  • Gradually return to exercise

A gait and mechanics assessment and an understanding about how you utilise your body in your chosen sport will help our Jurmaine Health professionals provide a customised and comprehensive rehabilitation schedule for you if you sufferer from shin splints. This may include the usage of manual therapies (on muscles, ligaments, capsules, nerves, bones) such as Active Release Technique (ART) or fascia manipulation and taping.

Shin Splints

Shin splints – also referred to as ‘medial stress syndrome’ – describes pain felt between the knee and ankle, along the inner edge of the shinbone. Athletes who participate in sports involving lots of running or jumping are often prone to shin splints as well as tennis players and dancers.

Active Release Technique (ART), fascia manipulation and taping can generally help to ease the pain of shin splints.

Athletes who push themselves beyond their fitness capabilities often suffer from shin splints, as well as those who participate in high-impact activities performed on hard surfaces or without proper protection such as shock-absorbing shoes or compression bandages. Shin splints are considered to be an injury provoked by ‘over-use’ and can sometimes be avoided by gradually increasing exercise intensity over time rather than at once.

Causes of shin splints

Although the exact cause of shin splints is unknown, there are a number of factors that are thought to contribute to this condition, including:

  • Over-use of the muscles
  • Exercising beyond current level of fitness
  • Poor (running) technique
  • Improper footwear
  • Running or exercising on hard surfaces, such as asphalt
  • Overpronation (flat feet)
  • Stress fractures in the lower leg bones

Other symptoms of shin splints

Shin splints usually affect only one leg at a time, although it’s possible for both shins to be affected. The pain is generally described by sufferers as ‘dull’ at first, but over time it can become more painful if left untreated. The pain is more generalized rather than isolated to a specific area – this is usually indicative of a stress fracture rather than shin splints.

Athletes who suffer from shin splints will often experience the following symptoms:

  • Dull ache along the shinbone
  • Tenderness along the shinbone
  • General pain, as opposed to localised pain
  • Pain which feels worse the following day, due to the skin tightening
  • Pain which eases during the course of a workout and returns towards the end
  • Red or swollen skin around affected area
  • Shin pain which becomes increasingly worse over time if left untreated

Top tips for preventing shin splints

  • Ensure you wear proper footwear when exercising
  • Always do warm-up and cool-down exercises when doing physical activity
  • When running, choose softer, flatter surfaces to minimise the impact on your shins
  • Don’t go too hard to fast – gradually increase exercise intensity over time, to match your fitness levels
  • Consider inserting shock-absorbing orthotics into your shoes
  • Consider using taping or bandaging your legs, to bind your tendons to the shin
  • Alternate high-impact sports with low-impact cross training activities

Effective treatment of shin splints

In most cases, shin splints can be effectively treated at home, by following some simple guidelines:

  • Get plenty of rest
  • Use an icepack on your shins
  • Take anti-inflammatory painkillers
  • Perform strengthening exercises
  • Use orthotic insoles
  • Stick to low-impact exercise during recovery
  • Gradually return to exercise

A gait and mechanics assessment and an understanding about how you utilise your body in your chosen sport will help our Jurmaine Health professionals provide a customised and comprehensive rehabilitation schedule for you if you sufferer from shin splints. This may include the usage of manual therapies (on muscles, ligaments, capsules, nerves, bones) such as Active Release Technique (ART) or fascia manipulation and taping.

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