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Shin splints are a popular seasonal injury at this time of the year with many keen amateur runners upping their mileage in preparation for upcoming challenges. Call us today for an initial consultation[/caption]

What are shin splints?

Shin splints are generally described as pain in the front of the shins. This pain can be on the inside or outside of the shin bone (tibia). Typically, this pain gets worse with activity (although in early stages it can ease once warmed up, but then bites later!)

Causes

There are typically 2 causes.

Calf length: A calf muscle that is too tight can often cause pain on the inside of the tibia. It can sometimes cause pain on the outside shin muscle too as this is the muscle working in opposition to the calf - a sort of tug of war evolves. Rest, reduce loading (impact and calf effort can be reduced on a cross trainer or in the pool) combined with plenty of specific stretching to the group of calf muscles will generally solve shin splints caused by a short calf group. Some strength and balance work for the lower limb will also help with the endurance of the calf group and stability around the ankle. Proper instruction should be sought for these stretches.

Biomechanics: The alignment of your leg and back is influenced by a variety of tensions and lengths of muscle and by your foot position. Some or all of these can be present. Poor biomechanics can lead the outside shin muscle to tug at the outer covering of the tibia and cause pain. Assessment and treatment by an experienced sports physiotherapist is necessary to determine which areas of your leg/body need adjustment. Resting until these symptoms disappear will not fix the cause of the problem. The pains will return once running recommences.

Recommendations

If you seek advice from a specialist sports physiotherapist quickly, you will return to running sooner. Biomechanical assessments and podiatric advice on footwear and Orthotics are available at City Physio. A good running store will help you select the correct trainer type (control or neutral shoes) to suit your biomechanics. Some supportive insole (Orthotics) may also be required.

About City Physio

City Physio has 4 clinics in the centre of Manchester and on Harley Street, London. We have helped clients with injuries ranging from sprained ankles and sore knees to sporting injuries. To book in with one of our experienced physiotherapists call 0844 257 0122