Shin Splints

Shin splint is a term used to describe any condition that causes pain in the shin. It’s often used to describe the pain caused by inflammation of the thin layer of tissue that covers the bone (a condition called Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome) and of tiny fractures on the surface of the bone.

How we can help

For most people, shin splints can be successfully treated by the following self-help measures:

  • Apply a cold compress, such as ice or a bag of frozen peas, wrapped in a towel, to help reduce swelling and bruising. Rest is vital for treating shin splints. While you are recovering, do not do activities that cause pain. You can resume training gradually once you shins are no longer painful.
  • Over the counter anti-inflammatory medicine such as ibuprofen can help reduce pain and inflammation.
  • Ensure that your trainers/sneakers give enough support and cushioning and haven’t become worn down through the year.

Orthotics are useful in that they help prevent over-pronation.

What causes it?

Shin Splints occur when you put too much stress and strain on your shin bone. This happens when there is repetitive impact on your shin during weight bearing sports or activities.

You are more at risk of developing shin splints if:

  • You rapidly increase your training levels (for example, your running distance, speed, or number of times you run in a week).
  • Your sport or activity involves running or jumping on a hard surface (such as dancing or aerobics).
  • Your shoes are worn down and have lost their cushioning and support.
  • Your feet roll inwards (pronate).
  • You have a weakness in the muscle that attaches onto the bone.