Understanding shin splints is important because the term itself is overly general. Basically the term describes pain along the inner aspect of the shin bone which most commonly affects the posterior tibialis muscle tendon. Shin splints, however, can be caused by several factors. Included among these are poor ankle flexibility, lack of stretching, improper footwear, overuse and poor foot biomechanics.
Understanding Shin Splints – Treating This Condition
To avoid this condition, you should understand proper stretching techniques. In addition you should understand the need for a gradual progression in both running distance and intensity. Finally, you must choose proper running shoes that promote normal biomechanics for your foot type. If you still have a problem with shin splints then you probably need to wear inserts inside your running shoes. Such inserts are called orthotics and are usually custom made for each foot. While orthotics help promote normal biomechanics they also serve to minimize abnormal stresses. In conclusion, by using proper running shoes and orthotics, if warranted, you may avoid a recurrence of shin splints.
Thomas Suspenski, PT, ATC
797 E Lancaster Ave. Suite 2
Please refer to patient education for other brief articles in our educational series. It is through these articles, in part, that we keep our patients (and others) informed of common injuries and conditions, their treatment and healthcare in general.