Shin splints is an irritation and overload of the muscles in the front of your leg. Shin splints are extremely common in runners and people who play sport involving running / jumping.
- Early stages: rest / ice / analgesia as necessary
- Swimming / cycling to keep active and avoid aggravation of injury
- Load management:
- Initially reduce aggravating activity
- If running recreationally, switching from a hard surface such as concrete to a soft surface such as grass or a running track may reduce overload.
- Supportive footwear designed for running with arch support and cushioned insoles
Professional Medical Treatments
- Addressing foot biomechanics
- Soft tissue release with massage / dry needling
- Possible use of electric therapies (e.g. shockwave therapy)
- Ankle mobilisation (if warranted)
- Taping techniques
- In extreme cases, prolotherapy injections (however mixed evidence)
- In extreme cases, surgical release
Physical Therapy Exercises
- Load management is key to resolving shin splints. Your physiotherapist should discuss a plan to reintroduce load gradually to allow adaption.
- Strengthening of muscles that act on lower limb to normalise foot mechanics (around hip, knee and ankle)
- Ensuring gradual increases in running / impact exercise