shin splints

Anterior shin pain or Shin splints are the most common cause of exercise induced leg pain encountered by athletes of all levels. This condition can also affect people who are on their feet all day. A shin splint is a very specific problem, it is essentially an inflammatory reaction involving the deep tissues of the lower leg and may involve tendons and muscles.
The inflammatory reaction occurs at the point where the deep tissues insert into the medial or front (anterior) aspect of the leg bone (tibia), tenderness is usually present between 3-16 cm above the foot.
When a patient is suffering from a medial shin splint the pain and the tenderness will be present on the inner aspect of the leg. In an anterior shin splint, pain and tenderness is present on the front and outer aspect of the leg, in both cases, running and walking may be extremely painful. In severe cases, even light weight bearing may be painful.
The causes include over training mechanical problems with the feet such as "excess pronation". Over pronation can be simply described as a condition which causes your arches to flatten out when you stand up. This causes your ankles to roll in towards each other and disturbs your normal walking pattern. If a foot over pronates the structures of the leg are stretched and put under stress, which increases the likelihood of that structure being injured. Tight calve muscles are another common cause as is running on hard surfaces. Poor shoes which are not designed for the patients foot and as such provide little or no shock absorption.
Treatment is case dependent however, may include decrease in training stretching exercises and proper gait analysis and proper custom made orthotics may need to be prescribed, if you suffer from shin splints it is worth visiting a Podiatrist.

  Shin Splint  



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Page last updated 14 October, 2007