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3 Tips for managing your shin splints

3 Tips for avoiding Shin Splints

Shin splints is a running condition effecting the tibial region of your lower limb. There are different types of shin splints that can be differentiated between bone related or muscle related shin splints. All types of shin splints develop from training load and lower limb biomechanical issues. Now that running and triathlon seasons are starting, as well as nicer running weather, this is an extremely important condition to prevent and manage. Medial tibial stress syndrome is a condition where the muscles of your lower limb pull on their insertional point on the inside of the shin bone (the tibia). This can be very painful and extremely difficult to treat if not managed early. This condition can also lead to stress fractures if not managed properly.

Tibial spine pain is a much rarer type of shin pain along the very front border of the shin bone that is more closely related to tibial stress fractures. Exertional compartment syndrome is the tightening of the muscles in front of the shin within its regional compartment. Now that you understand what people are referring to when they say shin splints, here are some tips to prevent and manage the condition.

1. Alter your running program

Unfortunately, this is a condition that is brought on by an increased running load too rapidly such as increased speed, distance or frequency. By reducing one or more of these elements, it will make a huge difference in your recovery. Bringing in other training methods such as swimming, bike riding or weight training can also take the load off the shins when trying to relatively rest them but maintain cardiovascular levels and strength capabilities.

2. Good footwear

The biomechanics of your foot, ankle and lower limb have a major contributing factor to developing shin splints. By getting properly fitted running shoes, you can prevent, manage and heal this injury as well as preventing the development of other associated conditions such as achilles tendinopathy or plantar fasciitis.

3. Stretch and strengthening program

Stretching the muscles the calf loosens the deep muscles that attach to the medial compartment of the tibia as well as assisting in normalising the biomechanics of the foot and ankle complex.

Now your last tip… see your Osteopath. Your osteopath will educate you on why you are susceptible to developing shin splints and to give you further training tools to manage the condition such as specific strengthening exercises and specific training load assessment if required. For further information or to make an appointment, contact us on 0400 164 608 or email

Shin Splints

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