What are shin splints?
The term shin splints is often used to describe generalised pain during or after activity in the lower leg region.
There are usually three pathological processes:
- Bone stress – continuum of increased bone damage exists from bone strain to stress reaction to stress fracture.
- Inflammation – develops at the insertion of muscles, particularly tibialis posterior, tibialis anterior and soleus, and fascia to the medial border of the tibia.
- Raised intracompartmental pressure – the lower leg has a number of muscle compartments, each enveloped by a thick inelastic fascia. As a result of overuse/inflammation the muscle compartments may become swollen and painful.
What are some of the causes of shin splints?
- Excessive rolling in of the feet (excessive pronation)
- Rigid high arched foot (poor shock absorption)
- Muscle imbalance between posterior and anterior lower leg muscles
- Playing sport on hard surfaces
- Poor conditioning for level of activity
- Over training
- Incorrect, inadequate or worn out footwear
What is the treatment for shin splints?
- Activity modification
- Anti-inflammatory medication
- Foot strapping
- Footwear review/recommendation
- Stretching/strengthening exercises
- Physical therapy