Pain from sport and running activities occurs at the front and inside of the leg, or the ‘shin’ is termed as ‘Shin Splints’. This term describes a variety of overuse inflammatory conditions such as tibial fasciitis, compartment syndrome and stress fractures.
Athletes who excessively running with hill training, wear unsuitable footwear and have poor biomechanics are susceptible.
- Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome: damage to tissue and muscles due to overuse and poor biomechanics and foot posture.
- Stress Fractures: overuse can cause the front leg muscle to excessively swell till it is too big for its “cover” tissue
- Stress Fractures: a “crack” in the bone from increasing an activity too quickly and overuse
A major culprit causing shin splints is a rapid escalation in distance or intensity of a workout program. This sudden increase in muscle work can be related with inflammation of the lower leg muscles, those muscles used in lifting the foot. Such a situation can be worse by a tendency to pronate the foot (roll excessively inward onto the arch).
Other common causes:
- Overpronation of your feet
- Oversupination of your feet
- Incorrect footwear
- Running on hard or angled surfaces, e.g. concrete
- Poor running technique and biomechanics
- Poor core strength and stability
- Tight foot arch muscles, calf muscles, hamstrings
- Weak thigh, foot arch muscles
- dull, aching or sharp pain in the front of the lower leg.
- pain may be located along either side of the shinbone or in the muscles.
- area may be painful to the touch.
- can occur both during and after exercise
- wear suitable fitted sport shoes
- improve foot posture – orthotic therapy
- build an exercise regime gradually
- complete routine rehab
- First Aid – P.R.I.C.E.
- stretching and strengthening muscles
- supportive shoe
- Orthotic therapy
- Modified exercise regimen
Ok, so here’s what a Podiatrist like myself would do. I first understand your situation, your lifestyle and then assess your lower limb posture so that I can understand how really you move – how your feet impacts the ground, the muscular strength and flexibility ratio between different areas of your legs. If necessary, you may be referred for scans to rule out stress fractures.
It is so important for my clinic and to YOU to clarify and understand your situation and biomechanics of your body. With this, the Podiatrist can recommend a stretching and strengthening rehab program or what I call a SERVICING rehab program where the focus would be to stretch and ‘loosen’ the tight constricted muscles and strengthen the weak muscles of your legs.
I use a special tool called SHOCKWAVE THERAPY which is a safe, researched backed innovated weapon against lower limb and foot conditions such as SHIN SPLINTS!
My strategy for my clients who suffer from shin splint involve rewriting and modifying your exercise program,customising your rehab plan and applying direct manual treatment include shockwave therapy, deep muscle release and eccentric stretching.
One of the most common risk factors for shin splints is ‘flat feet’ with low arches and tilted inwards heels and feet.
Once your situation is audited and if it’s best suited for your lifestyle and goals, then I would recommend orthotic therapy.
Orthotics have been proven effective treatment modality. The goal here is to redistribute your body weight, support your feet and counteract the flat feet by elevating your inside arches and tilting your heel to reduce pressure on the bottoms of your feet as well as reducing excessive pressure on your Tib post muscle and periosteum!
If you’re experiencing and are suffering from pain in the shins, contact your friendly local neighbourhood Podiatrist! Of course, if you want me to take a look at it, then please contact our clinic (number above) or easily book an appointment online!
Grant Duong, Podiatry
At the Triumph Institute located in the heart of Bankstown, Sydney we also practice podiatry. It’s a medical field that specialises in the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of problems and issues that affect the lower limbs, from the lower back right down to our feet.