Shin splints are a common injury that affects athletes who engage in running sports or physical activity. This condition is characterized by pain in the lower part of the leg between the knee and the ankle. MTSS (Medial Tibia Stress Syndrome) injuries are caused by repeated trauma to the connective muscle tissue surrounding the tibia. Ignoring this injury may result in a more serious condition such as a stress fracture or breakage of the bones.
Symptoms of shin splints-
The symptoms and signs of shin splints may include:
- Pain along the shin bones
- Aches and pains are felt along the shinbone.
- The area is tender and sore to touch.
- The overlying skin may be red and inflamed.
- The pain may be felt before, during or after running.
Shin splints can be caused by a number of factors including:
- Overuse……. exercising too hard or trying to exercise beyond your current level of fitness can strain muscles, tendons, bones and joints. Overuse is one of the most common causes of shin splints.
- Flat feet – the shin muscles are involved in maintaining the instep or arch of the foot. Flat feet can pull at the shin tendons and cause slight tearing.
- Incorrect technique – poor running form, such as ‘rolling’ the feet inwards (pronation), can strain the muscles and tendons.
- High impact activities – the impact of running on hard or uneven surfaces can injure the shin muscles and tendons.
- Running shoes – wearing the wrong type of shoe while running can contribute to shin splints.
The best treatment for shin splints is rest. It is not one of those injuries that recover faster with physical activities. In order to prevent recurring injury, have a gait assessment to ensure you are wearing the proper footwear, require orthotics, as well, compression sleeves and an exercise program may help in prevention.