Shin splints is a term used to describe pain along the shin bone (Tibia). They are a common sporting injury. Symptoms can include: sharp pain, aching and/or slight swelling along the shin. Pain generally worsens with increased duration or intensity of running or jumping activities. Pain generally subsides after exercise ceases.
How do you get shin splints?
Shin splints are soreness in the musculature on the front of the shin. It is usually as a result of the muscle tearing away from its insertion on the shin bone. These muscles are responsible for bending the foot upwards at the ankle (dorsiflexion). Worn out footwear, muscle weakness or tightness and running on hard surfaces can all cause shin splints. Shin splints often occur if there has been an increase in running mileage or an alteration in or wearing out of training footwear. It often occurs in those with ‘Flat Feet’ where the foot and leg roll inwards too much (pronate). This rotation overloads and abnormally pulls at the muscles and tendons in the shin. Often pain will not come on until you are a few kms into your run.
What shouldn’t I do if I have shin splints?
If you have shin splints and you continue to follow the same training regime and wear the same footwear your condition is likely to worsen, so you should rest prior to your podiatry assessment. ‘Running through’ the pain is not advisable.
Could there be any long term effects of shin splints?
If the cause is left untreated then shin splints can cause stress fractures of the tibia.
Podiatry treatment for shin splints.
Shin splints are common in those with flat feet (also known as pronated feet). If a foot over pronates (rotates inwards), the structures of the ankle and lower leg are stretched and put under stress. The Podiatrists at Oxford Street Podiatry can assess you shin pain and give you advice on appropriate treatment. Orthoses (shoe inserts) can help control this over rotation and correct the abnormal movement in the foot, therefore reducing the stress on the muscles. Orthoses also help to alleviate the pain and prevent it from returning. Muscle stretching and strengthening exercises may be prescribed as well as trigger point therapy performed to help relieve tight muscles.
If you’re living in Mount Hawthorn, North Perth or Leederville and want to know more about how to fix shin pain, please give us a call at Oxford Street Podiatry