Shin splints (medically known as medial tibial stress syndrome) are one of the most common causes of lower leg pain in athletes. It is an overuse injury, resulting in pain in the inner part (medial) or the outer part (anterior) of the lower leg. Women are roughly 2X more likely to get shin splints than men.
The pain felt in the inner part of the shin bone is usually due to improper footwear or lack of support in the arch, whereas the pain felt in the outer shin is generally due to training too hard or too fast. If left untreated, it can get severe enough to prevent one from running. Please visit our Foot Clinic in Mississauga to consult a Chiropodist/Podiatrist.
Some Common Causes of Shin Splints:
- Improper training
- Training on hard or uneven surfaces
- Training too quickly
- Changing terrain abruptly (e.g from flat surfaces to hills)
- Muscle imbalance
- Imbalance between the front and calf muscles of the leg
- These muscles play a crucial role in the movement of the ankle when running
- Improper footwear
- Over pronation of feet
How can our Foot Specialists help with shin splints?
Chiropodists and Podiatrists are the primary health care professionals for treating lower limb disorders, including shin splints. At our Foot Clinic in Mississauga, a Chiropodist/Podiatrist will perform a detailed biomechanical assessment to determine your foot type.
- Based on the biomechanical assessment, realignment of the foot might be necessary to correct the abnormal pronation. Custom-made orthotics may be prescribed by the Chiropodist.
- Professional advice will be given on the type of shoes that are best suited for your feet.
- Taping of the shin can be done for temporary pain relief.
- Oral anti-inflammatory may be prescriped by the Chiropodist.
- Patient will be given instructions on how to perform stretches effectively
10 Tips on how to prevent and heal shin splints:
- RICE therapy
- Rest, Ice, Compress, Elevate
- Taping of the shin bone
- Get into Orthotics
- Take a break and rest for 1-2 weeks before you return to activity
- Always warm up and stretch before training
- Build gradually
- Start with low impact training (biking, swimming, elliptical) and gradually increase it
- If you are just starting to get into running, start with a 15 minutes split of running/walking three times a week. Then gradually increase the running/walking ratio by 20% every week.
- Strike at mid-foot when running
- Heel strike causes your foot to slap down which stresses your shin muscles
- Forefoot running causes stress on the calf muscles
- Keep the stride length short in the beginning
- Use a supportive shoe
- Stability shoe or motion control
- Get plenty of Calcium (build strong bones) and Vitamin D (to help your body absorb Calcium)