Shin Splints

“Shin splints” is a term for pain in the front of lower leg. Many athletes tend to suffer from shin splints when they place excessive load on the thigh and tissues that connect the muscles to the tibia bone.

Shin splints are very common in football players who tend to get bruises on their legs. Basketball players who jump a lot, tennis players who change directions rapidly and put pressure on the legs, soccer players, and dancers may suffer from shin splints as well.

How do I Know if I Suffer from Shin Splints?

The pain runs along the front internal lower leg, especially during exertion and activity. It reduces at rest and is often accompanied by swelling. In more serious cases, a person may experience pain even at rest.

What else causes shin splints?
∙ Excessive or prolonged activity
∙ Practice-related mistakes
∙ Unsuitable equipment
∙ Low arch or flat foot
∙ Running a lot with the heel in too low a position
∙ Jumping excessively


Before we talk about treatment, it’s important for me to note that ignoring the pain may lead to aggravation and stress-fracture (a crack in the bone tissue and localized pain in the center of the lower leg), so it is very important to take care of the problem before it becomes worse.

The treatment includes:
∙ Custom orthotics to reduce the intensity of shocks and soften them.
∙ Suitable shoes (click to read my post about choosing shoes). It’s recommended for runners who suffer from pain to replace their shoes every five-hundred miles.
∙ Consider temporary replacement-sports that involve less impact. For instance, you can combine swimming or cycling with your regular activities.
∙ Take a training program with a professional – a physical therapist or a personal trainer.
∙ Strengthening the leg muscles to cope better with shock absorbed by the legs.

How can Orthotics Help me Cure the Problem?

Custom orthotics reduce shock and soften the intensity of the force exerted on the foot during athletic activities. So, if you decide to purchase insoles, it is important to specify the type of pain that you’re experiencing, and the sports in which you’re involved. Your therapist can use this information to custom-fit orthotics for you in order to help you to solve the problem.

Do I have to Stop Exercise?

The approach today is not to stop training. If training is suddenly resumed after a prolonged delay, there is worry that the burden will be too great on the body, and that the athlete will risk re-injury. The best treatment is to continue training, but at a reasonably reduced rate.

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