Georgiy Sekretaryuk
July 16, 2014
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Understanding and Treating Shin Splints

Shin Splints Physiotherapy

By Reza Ghannadan, MPT, BSc (Kin), Physiotherapist

What are shin splints?

Shin splints, or medial tibial stress syndrome, is an overuse condition due to excessive pulling on the muscles of the leg. With repetitive overuse, this can result in tightening of the muscles along the shin bone, which causes pain and inflammation along the leg.

Symptoms

People often complain of pain on either side of the front of their leg. The pain is usually worse during or after exercise, and typically the morning after. Pain is usually brought on with weight-bearing activities (eg., running) or activities that require you to push your ankle down repeatedly.

Risk Factors for Shin Splints

Several factors contribute to developing shin splints. These include:

  • Flat feet
  • Training errors: excessive training, inadequate rest, sudden increase in intensity or type of activity, poor technique
  • Muscle dysfunction, poor alignment or decreased flexibility
  • Shoe design or surface type
  • Obesity

How can physiotherapy help?

Physiotherapy is essential in managing the pain and helping you return to activity. Treatment may consist of the following:

Practical Tips for Shin Splints

  • Consult with a physiotherapist
  • Initial rest, ice and pain medications (as prescribed by your doctor)
  • Ensure you warm-up properly prior to your sport
  • Activity modification: swimming and cycling are excellent alternatives to keep you active while recovering
  • Orthotics may be helpful to restore alignment
  • Stretching your calf and shin muscles, or using a foam roller

Sports Physiotherapy Clinic in Burnaby BC

If you are experiencing shin splints, our Burnaby sports injury physiotherapy clinic can help. Sports physiotherapy is specialized for identifying the cause of your pain and developing a specific treatment plan to keep you active.

Please contact Burnaby Physio Care at 604-558-2273 to make an appointment.

About the author

Reza Ghannadan is a physiotherapist in Burnaby, BC. and an an active runner and community advocate of physiotherapy.

 

Reference:

Brukner, P. & Khan, K. (2013). Clinical sports medicine (4th Ed). Australia: McGraw-Hill Australia Pty Ltd.

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