‘Shin splints’ is a term used to describe pain along the shin bone. Shin splints are a common sporting injury. Symptoms can include: sharp pain, aching and/or slight swelling along the shin bone. The associated pain generally increases with the duration or intensity of running and jumping activities. The pain generally subsides after exercise ceases.
How do you get shin splints?
Shin splints are usually a result of the muscle tearing away from its insertion to the shin bone. Worn out footwear, muscle weakness, muscle tightness and running on hard surfaces can all cause shin splints. Shin splints will often occur if there has been an increase in running mileage or an alteration to training footwear. Often pain will not come on until you are a few kms into your run. Shin splints are also associated with flat feet (otherwise known as pronated feet).In a person with pronated feet, the foot and leg roll inwards. This rotation overloads the muscles and tendons of the leg and causes them to pull at their attachment to the shin bone.
What shouldn’t I do if I have shin splints?
If you have shin splints and you continue to follow the same training regime and wear the same footwear your condition is likely to worsen. ‘Running through’ the pain is not advisable. You should rest until you are able to organise a podiatry assessment.
Could there be any long term effects of shin splints?
If shin splints are left untreated stress fractures of the tibia may develop.
Podiatry treatment for shin splints.
The Podiatrists at Jandakot Podiatry can assess your shin pain and give you advice on appropriate treatment. As mentioned above, shin splints are common in those with flat or pronated feet.Orthoses (a type of shoe insert prescribed by your podiatrist) can help control this over pronation. By controlling the over pronation the stress on the muscles is reduced, this alleviates pain and helps to prevent it from returning. Muscle stretching and strengthening exercises are often prescribed. Trigger point therapy may also be performed to help relieve tight muscles.
If you want to know more about how to fix shin pain, please give us a call.