Shin Splints with Running

What are “shin splints”? And how can physio help?

A really common question that we receive in the clinic is “can I keep running on my shin splints? The short answer is, as always, “it depends”.

**Shin splints is an umbrella term that encompasses a variety of injuries, that may require vastly different management strategies. So, it is important to get an assessment from a qualified health professional (and remember, this blog is not medical advice);

We see a lot of recreational runners in our clinic, and shin splints is a common presentation that we help manage. By the end of this blog you will have some information to help manage your own symptoms.

Potential diagnosis;

  1. Bone damage
    Bone damage ranges from bone oedema, through to a true fracture of the shin bone. This pain typically gets worse with more running, and is a very pin-point pain in the shin. This is considered a serious pathology, as it has the potential to lead to poorer outcomes.
  2. Tendon pain/Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome
    Tendon pain in the shin may warm up with more running, and typically spans a length of >5 centimetres along the inside of the shin. This is the type of pain that this blog will discuss;

Causes

  1. A change or increase in training load; for example when preparing for a marathon or returning to running after a period of time off
  2. Biomechanics; for example, running technique issues
  3. Poor footwear
  4. Underlying bone density problems

Management principles;

  1. Relative offload: i.e. slightly reduce the frequency, distance, time or speed in which you are running.
  2. Think about running technique: typically we will see over-striding in this population
  3. Muscle strengthening

What are some common exercises for Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome?



If you would like more information on shin splints or if you need some further information, please don’t hesitate to contact us!

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