Medial tibial stress syndrome, also known as shin splints, is a common condition seen in runners and athletes. It can be a painful and debilitating condition that normally requires targeted rehabilitation to resolve. It is thought to be a bone stress reaction due to overloading of the soft tissues which attaches into the Tibia. This overloading can be caused by foot posture or running style which places the medial soft tissue structures under increased forces or by a sudden increase in activity.
Shin pain brought on by activity.
This pain increases with activity and quickly subsides with rest.
Pain on palpation of medial tibial crest area greater than 5cm.
Medial tibial stress syndrome can be accurately diagnosed by a visual examination and patient history by an appropriately trained health professional.
Initially a period of rest or a break from running may be required as bone stress injuries typically do not respond well to working through pain. The analogy “no pain, no gain” does not apply to medial tibia stress syndrome.
The initial stages of rehabilitation should focus on increasing bone loading tolerance, not working into pain. This may be marching on the spot working up to jogging on the spot to hopping. Strength training is also important to increase resistance of tibia, strengthening the calf muscles are particularly important.
Gradual return to running, ideally with minimal pain.
Orthotics can be a useful tool to offload the medial soft tissue structures to reduce bone irritation.
Whether you are struggling with pain, having issues with mobility or training for a sporting event we will endeavour to find the best treatment to meet your individual needs and expectations.
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