Shin splints, is one of the most common causes of pain in the lower limb for athletes. It is defined as exercise-induced pain along the postero-medial tibial border (inside border of the shin bone).
There are multiple theories behind what exactly the underlying cause of this condition is, however more recently it is believed to be a bony overload injury. Nontheless, due to lack of strong evidence for any of the theories on its pathology, shin splints is considered a clinical pain syndrome.
History and physical examination are the cornerstones of the diagnostic process in clinical pain syndromes. Research studies have shown that imaging modalities such as X-ray, ultrasound, MRI, CT scans and bone scans are unable to diﬀerentiate between athletes with and without clinically diagnosed shin splints.
Our Physiotherapists are specialists in patient history and physical examinations, allowing for a quick diagnosis of your symptoms.
Upon diagnosis of shin splints, a management strategy needs to be setup with the client. This would involve advice and education on load management, and prescribing a graded loading programme to allow you to safely return back to your activity.
Please find the patient resources section of our website where we have created a series of bespoke exercise programmes specific to this condition. To access these, please contact us to obtain the password. We advise consulting with your Physiotherapist prior to trying any of these exercises.
Due to the nature of the condition, the duration of the condition is often prolonged. It often will range from 3-12 months with Physiotherapy depending on the athlete’s personal goals.