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Shin Splints (Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome)

Shin Splints (Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome)

What are shin splints?

Also known as medial tibial stress syndrome, shin splints describe the pain that develops at the front of the shin bone (tibia). It is often experienced by runners and those that partake in regular, high-impact activities.

What is the cause?

Shin splints are caused by excess stress to the front of the shins which may occur in multiple ways, including a bending stress on the shin bone, as well as excess strain on the musculature at the front of the legs.

While runners may be most familiar with this pain, other individuals may suffer from them as well. Repetitive activities, like running, are the most well-known cause, but other causes include: 

  • Faulty foot biomechanics
  • Flat feet
  • Tight calves
  • Inappropriate training
  • Poor footwear

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms occur at the front or inside of the shins and include: 

  • Pain, ranging from a mild ache to severe
  • Swelling
  • Difficulty continuing to exercise

How are shin splints treated?

Shin splints may go away for some runners after they become accustomed to the activity, but for others, the pain can persist. It is important to get treatment as the condition can progress to stress fractures of the tibia. Because shin pain can continue for long periods after it starts, it’s important to manage effectively to get back to activity as soon as possible. 

At South Burnett Podiatry, we start by providing you with an accurate diagnosis and then formulate a tailored treatment plan to help you recover and keep doing the activities you love. Treatment will include a combination of: 

  • Temporary activity modification
  • Ice
  • Stretching
  • Strengthening exercises
  • Footwear advice
  • Orthotic therapy
  • Gait retraining

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