Do you find that lately when exercising at the gym or walking/running that your shins begin to get sore? Does this pain like to stick around until you stop and rest for some time?
If this is the case then you may have what we call MTSS (Medial tibial stress syndrome), or as it is more commonly known ‘Shin Splints’!
So what is ‘shin splints’ exactly ? And why is this happening to me ?
Shin splints or MTSS is a pain that is typically located along the lower two-thirds of the shinbone. It is simply an inflammation and/or microtearing of the muscles, tendons, and bone tissue around your shinbone.
This can occur for many reasons and is not uncommon, some of those reasons are:
- A sudden spike or increase in activity/load. You may have recently began a new exercise plan?
- The way your foot works! You may be rolling in more than your legs can handle!
- Weak or tight calf muscles – this is a very common cause. Did you know that a force of up to 5-8 times your bodyweight can go through your lower legs when running! That’s crazy.
- Footwear! Your sneakers or work shoes may not be right for you
- Running on hard and uneven surfaces
So how do we fix shin splints
This sounds obvious, but the most important point in treating shin splints is working out if you may be doing things to cause the pain e.g. running on hard surfaces, your sneakers are worn out etc. The specific things we then can do include the following:
- assess your gait & running style – this helps us see if there are any underlying mechanical problems causing the pain
- dry needling and acupuncture – this helps to reduce tightness in the calf and shin
- stretching and strengthening program – if we can stretch tight tissues AND strengthen them, then they are less like;y to be sore
- flexible orthotics – to reduce the strain on the foot, ankle and shin
- footwear advice – advise you on the best walking/running shoe or football boot
- low level laser therapy – reduce inflammation within the calf and shin
Shin splints are not the end of the world and typically have great and fast results with the right treatment plan ! But sort it out early before it becomes chronic and stops you from walking and running AND more serious damage. If you need further advice around how to get rid of shin pain, call us on at either Burnside (08 8333 2022), Woodville (08 8445 8680) or Click Here to book online.
Rhys Potter – Podiatrist at Healthy Life Foot Clinic