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What are shin splints?

The term 'shin splints' has been used to describe pain along the inside border of the shin commonly experienced by runners.

What causes shin splints?

Shin Splints can be caused by overusing certain muscles usually during long-distance running, especially if running on a hard surface. However, other factors are often involved such as posture and body alignment when running. Having flat feet or low arches can also be a common cause of shin splints and one factor commonly implicated in causing shin splints is over-pronation (over-flattening) of the foot.

What are the symptoms/effects of shin splints?

The main symptom of shin splints is pain on the inner side of the tibia during and after exercise. Sometimes there is swelling and even lumps on the bone. In some cases it is painful to bend the foot or toes downwards and the inside of the shin appears to be red.

Diagnosis of shin splints

A thorough assessment with a doctor or physiotherapist will diagnose shin splints.

Physiotherapy Treatment

Physiotherapy treatment will speed up the healing process and ensure you continue to make improvements in the long term and prevent it from re-occurring.

Physiotherapy at Manchester Physio for shin splints may include:
  • Alternating cold and heat therapy
  • Soft tissue massage to relieve any muscle tension and break up scar tissue
  • A range of exercises of strengthening and stretching exercises for the Achilles, the upper and lower calf, and the hamstrings.
  • Advice about low-impact exercises such as swimming
  • In the long-term you may need to change your running style in order to correct the way that the foot hits the ground, as well as making sure that good footwear is worn
  • Orthotic advice to help raise fallen arches
Your physiotherapist at Manchester Physio will devise a graduated training programme to promote recovery and help you return to your usual sports activities.

Physiotherapy treatment at Manchester Physio will reduce pain and restore range of movement and strength to your muscles as soon as possible.

If you would like more information about physiotherapy for shin splints, or to book an assessment please call 0161 883 0077.

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