Shin Splints, Anterior, Posterior, Running Injuries

Shin Splints

Shin Splints, Anterior Shin Splints, Posterior Shin Splints, Running Injuries

Lower leg pain can be caused by shin splints, there are two types:

  1. Anterior shin splints occur in the front portion of the shin bone (tibia)
  2. Posterior shin splints occur on the inside (medial) part of the leg (tibia)
In some cases the pain is due to small tears in the leg muscles at their point of attachment to the bone. Most cases are due to excessive pronation (where the foot "spreads" to the floor) and contribute to situations where there are small tears in the muscle. In all cases of pronation the muscles "track" improperly, due to the action of the leg as it rotates slightly inward (although "excessive" in pronation) in the shock absorption phase of pronation, the muscle is twisted and pulled repetitively and therefore either "tears" from the bone or "glides" inefficiently in its Saran Wrap like covering called "fascia" and builds inflammation and tension greater than the body can control, ultimately causing pain.  A very few cases are due to an underdevelopment of the anterior tibial muscles when used in downhill running.

Pain can begin as a dull aching sensation.  Small bumps along either side of the shin bone may be felt.

For the short term one can:

  1. Ice afterwards [do not apply ice directly]
  2. Aspirin or Ibuprofen
  3. Avoid hills
  4. Reduce mileage
  5. Strengthen the anterior tibial muscles by  (dorsiflexing) pulling the big toe and forepart of the foot up towards your nose against resistance (ensnare your foot in a towel tied by string/rope tied down to a dead weight i.e. couch)

For the long term:

  1. Stretching
  2. Continue weight training
  3. Silicone Dynamic Orthotics:  by minimizing overpronation allows for more efficient tracking of tendons and muscles.