Shin splints, or more accurately Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome (MTSS), is an overuse injury or repetitive-stress injury of the shin area. However, when an injury is classed as a ‘syndrome’, it can fall into a grey area where a single symptom is uncertain, rather a collection of signs and symptoms that correlate to a certain injury.
If you suffer from shin splints, as we will continue to refer to the condition, it’s important to factor in the issues that led to the injury to ensure you’re getting the right treatment, and not working through a range of alternative therapies that might not help.
Shin splints are often caused by an increase in load on the lower limbs, and running has an uncanny ability to provide this increased load. One major factor is doing too much too soon in training, as seen by marathon runners with the injury six to eight weeks into a new training programme.
Other factors include:
- Running downhill too much
- Worn out trainers
- Running on hard surfaces
- History of ankle and/or shin injuries
Considering that running is notoriously bad for the lower limbs, one solution would be to set a treadmill to a five per cent incline and to run uphill. Insoles can be bought that lift the inner edge of the heel and medial longitudinal arch up and give the tibialis posterior (a little break from being overworked.
The sooner you seek help the better with shin splints. The longer you keep trying to run through it, the worse things are going to get and therefore the longer you will be with a physio and in rehabilitation.
If you need help with shin splints, talk to a sports therapist in Maidenhead for the best advice and treatment.