The guide to running pain free
Shin splints, also known as Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome (MTSS) is tissue damage and inflammation to the connective tissue and muscles attached to the tibia bone. A very common injury for fitness fanatics, shin splints are relatively easy to diagnose and treat.
Pain usually develops down the length of the shine bone, usually during a long run or playing sport. It eases up immediately after stopping the activity, which is why many people don’t get it treated until the pain becomes severe and aches at night.
Causes of shin splints
Over pronation and flat feet are often the cause of shin splints, however in some cases, it can be attributed to running technique. If you land heavily on your heel, have tight calf muscles, are overweight, have poor hip stability and weak glutes, your risk of shin splints are increased.
Other contributing factors can be overtraining, worn out shoes or shoes that don’t provide the correct support.
Treatment of shin splints
If you suspect you are suffering with shin splints, book an appointment with your local physiotherapist. Calf muscle stretches and strengthening, deep muscle massage, acupuncture and taping are used to support the injured tissue.
Your physio will also evaluate your running techniques, how your foot moves and impacts, along with the level of pronation. They will be able to advise you on how to correct your running style and if needed combine with custom orthotics and heel cushioning for additional support.
Training after shin splints
Ensure you enlist the help of a trainer who can help you get back to speed and prevent getting re-injured. You’ll want to build up your running distance gradually, just two to three times a week, increasing it by 500 to 1000 metres a week for about 12 weeks.