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Do I have shin splints?

What are Shin Splints?


Shin Splints, or Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome, is a common cause of tenderness and/or pain on the shin bone (between the knee and ankle). This pain is typically worse with running or impact exercise. You may begin to notice shin splints developing after you have increased your training or have returned to training after a break. This is because the sudden change in repetitive loading causes “stress” which the body has not had a chance to become accustomed to.


Pain from shin splints, usually improves with rest. But, depending on the severity of the shin splints, pain may persist after stopping exercise for hours or days. While shin splints is common (accounting for 10-20% of all running injuries, and 60% of lower limb overuse injuries*) and relatively easy to manage, it is still important to address. The injury may feel better after a period of time away from exercise, but often returns soon after resuming exercise.

If not managed, shin splints can progress to a bone stress reaction or stress fracture.

Role of physiotherapists

Physiotherapists are trained to assess for shin splints and can provide management strategies including:

  • Pain relief options

  • Advice on how to manage your training load while keeping you as active as possible in your recovery

  • Providing strengthening exercises and advice to reduce recurrence of shin splints

  • Advice and/or education for managing stress fracture/stress reaction in severe cases.


Factors that may increase your risk of developing shin splints:

  • Increased BMI

  • Female sex

  • Running on hard or uneven surfaces

  • Poor or old running shoes

  • Previous episode of shin splints

  • Sudden increase in exercise

  • Overtraining with inadequate rest/recovery in between sessions.


For further advice you can arrange an appointment with one of our qualified physiotherapists via phone (see phone numbers below) or through our online booking system GCP Online Bookings (goodcountryphysio.com.au)

 

Bordertown: (08) 8752 2330

Keith: (08) 8755 1530

Naracoorte: (08) 8762 1515

Kingston: (08) 8767 4600

 

References

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