‘Shin Splints’ or Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome (MTSS) is a condition whereby excessive stress on the shin bone and surrounding muscles causes aching or tired legs, or sharp leg pain that can be so severe it stops you from performing activities such as running. The symptoms of shin splints are similar to that of Compartment Syndrome, which requires emergency treatment.
If left untreated, ‘shin splints’ can progress to stress fractures of the shin bone. This is why it is essential that treatment is sought in a timely manner.
There are many causes of ‘shin splints’ and it is essential that you are assessed properly. Training intensity and frequency are important factors in the initial development of ‘shin splints’ but foot function problems, impact forces and poor footwear choices can all be contributing factors to its progression and non-healing. At Performance Podiatry we take a detailed history and provide a physical assessment to identify muscle overuse due to abnormal foot biomechanics and poor running technique. Once complete, we will explain why you have shin splints.
Your treatment will depend on the diagnosis and cause of symptoms. Our podiatrists usually recommend short-term rest and adapting your training program. We will address footwear issues and may recommend orthotics (hyperlink) to address biomechanical problems. Sometimes an integrated treatment approach with other health professionals such as physiotherapy is required.