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Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome (Shin Splints)

What is Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome and who gets it?

Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome (MTSS), commonly known as shin splints is comprised of pain in the lower part of the leg along the edge of the bone (Tibia) between the knee and the ankle. More specifically, pain is felt in the middle to lower third of the tibia and will be isolated to the inside of the shin bone.

Most often, shin splints will affect runners accounting for 13-17% of all running related injuries. It also affects dancers and military personnel. Sport that demands high, repetitive impact with periods of jumping or hard landing will increase your risk of developing this injury.

Shin splints usually occur due to a change in workout regimen, this may be related to a sudden increase in volume of training or a change in equipment and environment. It can also be caused by poor biomechanics, poor flexibility, inadequate footwear, muscle imbalances or weakness.

What are the symptoms?

Those who suffer with shin splints often find the pain comes on soon after starting exercise and the symptoms improve with rest. Typically, symptoms will start as a dull ache with tightness and if left untreated, become more intense and will eventually limit activity altogether.  It can also be felt over a large part of the shin and usually affects both legs. In some cases, there may be slight swelling to the lower leg.

How can it be treated?

Your therapist will take a detailed history of your symptoms and then perform a physical examination. Treatment for shin splints include PRICE (protection, rest, ice, compression and elevation), deep tissue massage, acupuncture, electrotherapy and Kinesio taping. A home exercise programme of stretching and strengthening exercises may also be prescribed. Your therapist may provide advice regarding activity modification and posture/biomechanics. We recommend weekly treatment sessions with conservative management. Your therapist will adjust this as your symptoms improve.


If you think you are suffering with this we can help call 01279 414 959 today!

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