Shin Splints, or Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome (MTSS), is a common injury sustained within the lower leg. With this injury, pain is usually felt within the lower inside region of the shin bone.
So what causes it? Although the cause is not yet absolute, evidence suggests that the injury is the result of overload of the lower leg muscles, causing inflammation of the connective tissue that connects the tibialis posterior, and/or soleus with the tibia. As the name suggests, this is a stress based injury and as it worsens this continued stress can result in stress fractures if left untreated. It is estimated that the injury is present in up to 20% of runners and in regards to new recruits (runners and dancers) it can be as much as 35%.
So what can we do? The first thing to do is try and ascertain what change or overload has occurred in your training/daily life. For example, have you just increased your running distance/intensity, have you taken on a new sport. We can then look at the following treatments:
- Postural assessment. Is there over-pronation present in the ankle? There is a strong evidence base to suggest this contributes to the onset of MTSS. Orthotics and supported trainers can be used to address this.
- A graded training programme. New evidence suggests that a “return to running” approach can help reduce the onset of MTSS. This aims to build up the strength and resistance in the lower leg before overload.
- Massage/Friction massage.
- Cryotherapy (ice therapy)
- Dry Needling (acupuncture)
- Shockwave Therapy
- Kinesiology Taping
With MTSS, over-stress avoidance is key!
Get in touch if you have any aches or pains to see how we can help. We offer soft tissue therapy, sports massage, shockwave therapy, dry cupping, dry needling and exercise rehab here at tfd therapy.