Shin Splints

What Is It?

Shin splints are a result of the inflammation of muscles and connective tissues in the lower part of the leg.

The muscles commonly involved are tibialis anterior and tibialis posterior.
Tibialis anterior is responsible for bending the ankle upwards.
Tibialis posterior helps control the lowering the arch of the foot after heel strike.


Pain is often felt on the inside of the lower leg.
The pain can range from a dull ache to a severe, sharp penetrating pain.
Usually, the pain comes at the beginning of the activity, disappears during the activity and returns after the activity is finished. In more severe cases the pain may not disappear during the activity.

Inflammation will be present although may not be visible.
It is the result of the irritation of the tendon and/or tearing of the muscle attachments onto the tibial bone.

Usually the x-rays will be negative.
In chronic cases, the x-rays may show bone spurs where the muscle attaches to the bone.

What Causes It?
  • Overloading of shin muscles
  • Poor foot/ankle biomechanics
  • Flat arch, high arch
  • Poor running mechanics (ie. lack of heel strike)
  • Muscle imbalances
  • Unconditioned athlete
  • Improper or worn out shoes
What Should You Do?
  1. Rest from painful activities
  2. Icing will help decrease the inflammation and the pain
  3. Make sure you warm-up and stretch properly before and after each activity
Will Physiotherapy Help Me?

A physiotherapist will assess your condition and determine the origin of your pain. Your treatment plan will address both the local symptoms such as pain and inflammation as well as the cause of your pain (see causes above).
If you have developed this problem through a specific activity, your physiotherapist can review technique and make recommendations to avoid injury.

You will be given an exercise program that will include proper stretching and strengthening exercises for the lower part of your leg. The biomechanics of the foot and lower leg can be modified properly using taping and orthotics. With the help of modalities, physiotherapy can decrease pain and swelling in the shin and promote healing.

To learn more about how you can access and benefit from our services, please contact us today!


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