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Shin Splints...Painful but Treatable!

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What’s Causing the Pain along the Inside of my Shins?

Medial tibial stress syndrome, also known as shin splints, are a common issue for both athletes and military members. Classified as an overuse injury, the actual cause of shin splints is unknown, but most experts agree that micro-trauma to the soft tissue surrounding the tibia and the resulting inflammatory response are at fault.

MTSS can begin with minor pain on the inside of the shin-bone during or after physical activity. The muscles immediately behind the tibia become tender or inflamed, and these symptoms can quickly escalate to the point where pain persists during normal daily activities. If left untreated, stress fractures can begin to form along the tibia, which in extreme cases may result in a compound fracture. Just search “Paul George compound fracture” if you want to see the worst-case scenario – warning, content is very graphic.

Risk-factors for shin splints include: high impact activities (i.e., basketball), poor flexibility, excessive pronation (see our article on pronators), or too much time spent walking or running. Military members tend to be susceptible to this condition due to due to a combination of the last three risk-factors outlined.

The good news is that shin splints are treatable. Orthotics, exercise programs, stretching regimens, and soft-tissue manipulation are all viable options. The experts at Athletes’ Advantage Physiotherapy can help with your MTSS related pain, so contact us at 780-460-9977 or info@ptadvantage.ca for your assessment!