Hello, and welcome to this episode in our series on sports podiatry. Today, we’ll be talking about a common condition that affects people of all ages known as shin splints. Shin splints is the generic name for another condition known as medial tibial stress syndrome, and the common signs and symptoms of this condition usually involve pain and aching around the inside of the shin bone, also known as the tibia. This also can be accompanied by inflammation and redness, and this pain usually occurs after exercise and also can occur during exercise.
A shin splint has many contributing factors, and some of these include overuse. So, increasing the amount of activity that you perform over a short period of time without training up to it. So instead, when you say you’re running one kilometer regularly, and you increase this to a substantial amount of activity, this can increase the likelihood of injury. Technique is really important, so the way somebody runs can increase their likelihood of injury and should be addressed, and also impact. So, having a sport that has high impact involves a lot of jumping. Running can also increase the likelihood of this injury occurring.
Muscle weakness and tissue stress is a very, very common thing that causes this injury as well. So making sure that muscles that are involved with running and jumping are strong enough to take the load that is being placed upon them. Foot type is really important. So, having a specific foot type that rolls in does place people at a greater risk of injury, so addressing this can be a great way of preventing this injury and treating it. Shoes are a really important part of this as well. So, if someone has a pronated foot, they need to make sure they’re in a shoe that does correct them in the right position to try and prevent this injury as well.
Treatment of shin splints usually involves addressing the risk factors within the foot and ankle. This usually starts with exercise and stretching programs which address muscle tightness and muscle weakness. On top of this, we will look at footwear and foot posture to make sure that the person, based upon their foot type and foot posture, is in the right shoe. So, if someone’s got a foot that’s rolling in too much, putting him in a shoe with a bit of extra support, and on top of this, if someone requires a little bit of extra support to prevent the arch from collapsing further because a shoe’s not enough, an orthotic can be very helpful at this point of intervention.
On top of all of this, it’s really important to look at the training program and what sort of load that the person’s putting on it outside of treatment. So, if someone’s exercising too regularly and they need to rest a little bit, it might be advisable for the exercise program or the person’s training regime to be changed. If shin splints goes untreated, it can develop into stress fractures within the tibia and then this can develop further into a fracture. So, it’s best to get this condition treated as soon as possible. Information within this video is general, and if you are experiencing any signs and symptoms, it’s best to seek a professional opinion.
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