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Medial tibial pain (Shin splints)

The medical term for ‘shins splints’ is Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome (MTSS). This is because it suggests that it is due to excessive stress going through your tibia (shin bone). This leads to inflammation which causes pain and tenderness along the inside (medial) edge of your tibia.

This is a common condition in runners, due to the amount of impact the shin takes when running. However it does not mean that we should not run. Often, there are other contributing factors that lead to the onset of shin splints.


Other causes of shin pain can include:

  • Stress fracture
  • Tendinopathy
  • Muscle strains
  • Compartment syndrome
  • Referred pain (from the back, hip or knee).


Potential causes of shin splints:

Your bone and tissue can cope with a certain amount of impact. But if you keep putting too much stress on your bone, it may become inflamed.

The following are factors associated with shin splints…

  • Being female
  • Being overweight
  • An increase in activity or taking up a new vigorous activity
  • Poor running biomechanics
  • Unsupportive or worn out shoes
  • Flat feet
  • Excessive and repetitive activity on a hard surface (running on road).


How can Physio help?

We will conduct a thorough assessment to determine the contributing factors to your problem. This includes learning about you as a person, including your job, home life and other factors that may be an influence.

We will then assess your foot and leg position/alignment, your muscle length and strength and your biomechanics.

Treatment can include interventions such as stretches or strengthening exercises, hands-on therapy, taping or insole/footwear advice and modifying biomechanics/altering your running style.

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