Shin splints are an often misunderstood condition experienced by active athletes. It is basically an over use injury of the muscles and tissue (that hold those muscles) that attach to the shin bone (tibia).
Shin splints medical term is ‘medial tibial stress syndrome’.
Repetitive and excessive ‘pulling’ of the muscles attached to the shin during exercises on hard and uneven ground as well as in the wrong footwear can increase the loading on the shin’s muscles attachments leading to pain in the shin. This is why the pain can subside with rest, stretching and icing but return when you repeat the exercise again. If left untreated the pain may occur even with just walking.
The causes of shin splints include:
- Over pronation (too much ankle/arch ‘rolling’)
- Incorrect footwear
- Running on uneven ground
- Running on hard ground
- Running downhill a lot
- Hard surface sports like badminton, 5-a-side soccer and basketball
- Over use (too much training)
Foot orthotic therapy helps shin splint pain by correcting the ‘bad’ biomechanics that increase the ‘pull’ on the attachments of the shin muscles on the shin bone.