Shin splints is the vague term used to categorise anterior shin pain - the more professional term is Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome.
A dull ache in the shin area which develops during exercise but then decreases when warming up. The pain usually then reoccurs after training or exercise and is worse the following morning. If the pain is more focal the possibility of an actual stress fracture is higher. If your pain is around the inside of your leg it is likely to be caused by tibialis posterior.. if the outside it is more likely to be tibialis anterior!
- Excessive pronation (foot position)
- Poor shoes
- Sudden increase in training
- Surface type
- Decreased flexibility
Cause: Repetitive pounding without time for the bones, muscles and tendons to repair. This excessive force causes the muscles to become inflamed increasing the pressure against the bone. If left untreated it could progress into stress fractures.
Start with the usual rest, ice & pain relief, followed by a switch up of activities - perhaps swap running for cycling or swimming (for now).
We can use both massage and acupuncture techniques to relieve any pain or tightness within the calf or anterior muscles followed by kinesiology taping for support.
Treatment 2: Exercises
- Toe Taps
- Calf Raises
- Chair Squats
- Towel Toe Curls
Prevention = Strengthen the calf muscles and hip ABDuctors.
- Calf raises (include some with bent knees too!)
- Clams (+ Resistance)
- Glute Bridge
- Banded Crab Walks
Return to running: ONLY WHEN PAIN FREE
A level and soft terrain is best.
Distance is limited to 50% of that tolerated preinjury.
Intensity (pace) is similarly cut by one-half.
Over a three- to six-week period, a gradual increase in distance is allowed.
Only then can a gradual increase in pace be attempted.