Shin Splints

Elsie Zhong Vvhf9mhugti Unsplash

Shin splints or Tibial Syndrome is one of the most common running injuries that I see at Shift. It can affect both professional and recreational athletes equally and it’s not only runners that get affected. Tennis players, basketballers, indoor soccer players, netballers, all those high impact knee jarring sports. A simple change to your training routine can be the change that brings on the symptoms.

WHAT CAUSES SHIN SPLINTS?

The most common cause of Shin splints that I often see, stems from an increase in the intensity of training programs, a change to harder running surfaces or running hills regularly. All of these can increase your risk of shin splints. The following conditions can also put you at a higher risk of getting shin splints:

• Flat feet (overpronation)

• Shoes that lack support or don’t fit correctly

• Weak core muscles, hips or ankles

• Not stretching before and after exercise

TYPES OF SHIN SPLINTS

There are two types of shin splints:

1. Medial shin splints – common among people who have a collapsed medial arch or flat feet. This is the most common type of shin splints and often effects the lower 1/3 of the inside of the shin.

2. Anterior shin splints – this type is more common with runners who over-train on hills, as it requires repetitive use of the tibialis anterior muscle. Ironically, pain is typically worse when running downhill.

HOW ARE SHIN SPLINTS MOST COMMONLY TREATED? 

The keyword here is “treated” and should be replaced with “resolved”. Unfortunately, conventional Western medicine techniques don’t do much for treating shin splints. While the following methods are routine, they don’t actually get to the root of the cause and once most athletes return to exercise the original injury will resurface, sometimes leading to more extensive damage.

The most common approach to treatment is icing and resting the injured leg, and also using painkillers or anti-inflammatories. Herein lies the most obvious challenge. Telling a runner to stop running and expecting that they will adhere to the advice. Well, I have met a few runners and athletes in my time and this is near impossible for most.

In a desperate attempt to rid themselves of the pain, some people are forced into making questionable choices along the way. Usually, the first step is to invest in a different and usually more expensive pair of running shoes. Next people try different stretches or go and spend a small fortune on orthotic interventions. The most concerning approach from my point of view, however, is the reliance on the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). These days we just want to get on with things and don’t realise that we are just masking the pain and indirectly causing more damage in the long run. Often people will continue running and masking symptoms with NSAIDs. This, however, can lead to more severe micro-fractures or compartment syndrome.

WILL TAKING A REST FROM RUNNING SOLVE THE PROBLEM?

Even with complete rest, the pain can take 6-8 weeks to resolve but the problem usually manifests itself again very quickly after resuming running.

ACUPUNCTURE FOR SHIN SPLINTS

There are a variety of techniques that different acupuncturists employ for treating shin splints. Regardless of the system used, the goal of acupuncture is to promote circulation, loosen the muscles around the tibia and prevent recurrences of the problem.

HOW TO KNOW WHEN YOUR SHIN SPLINTS HAVE HEALED?

 I often get this question and it is mostly due to prior failed attempts in their return to training. The best indicators that you can confidently return to your exercise routine is:

• The affected leg is as flexible as your non-affected leg and feels just as strong.

• You can now put excessive weight on the leg that had the shin splint without pain.

• You can exercise without pain.

WANT PROOF?

A random controlled trial from 2002 found acupuncture to be more effective than any other combined therapy.

Acupuncture & Tibial Stress Syndrome [Shin Splints]. Journal of Chinese Medicine 2002 vol 70.

Evi Km Cropped

Katherine Maslen

Author

Hey, I’m Katherine Maslen, naturopath, nutritionist, host of The Shift podcast, author and renegade for health.
Since completing 2 bachelor degrees in health science over 12 years ago, I’ve been helping peeps just like you to be their best through awesome health. I’ve spent most of this time one on one in clinical practice – in the trenches with my clients to navigate them through the minefield that is imperfect health.

Book Your Massage Appointment Online

Book Your Osteopathy Appointment Online

Book Your Holographic Kinetics Appointment Online

Book Your Kinesiology Appointment Online

Book Your Hypnotherapy Appointment Online

For more information on our hypnotherapy treatments for smoking, anxiety, or depression, contact our Brisbane clinic today on 07 3186 5605.

Book Your Naturopathy Appointment Online

Current wait time for a naturopathy appointment is approximately 2-3 weeks – be sure to check the next few weeks for availability if your search results come up blank. If you have an urgent concern that cannot wait, please call us on 07 3186 5605 and we will do our best to fit you in earlier.

Please note you will need to ‘make a profile’ to book an appointment – this will then send us your personal details and create a client file for you. If you’d prefer to call then go through this process then please do!

Book Your IVF Acupuncture Appointment Online

Book Your Acupuncture Appointment Online

Download our cycle tracking guide!
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Mind Shift Img2
Your gut is the centre of everything!

Your ability to digest food and absorb nutrients determines your health, and your microbiome (the bacteria that live inside you) are so important for preventing disease.

Take the quiz now to discover.
  1. How well you are digesting food
  2. If you’re eating the right things for a healthy gut
  3. The state of your microbiome
  4. Your overall gut health score
Fai Content Img F 2@2x

Share This

Select your desired option below to share a direct link to this page. Your friends or family will thank you later.
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on skype
Share on pinterest
Share on email