Shin Splints

Causes, symptoms and solutions for shin splints

This condition happens to people due to the muscles and bones in the lower area of the leg pulling and tugging at their insertion on the shin bone (tibia). This problem is common to athletes and military officers. Also, people who have osteoporosis have a higher chance of developing this problem. At some point, shin splints can become stress fractures. Medically known as tibial stress syndrome, this condition is also common to dancers and can easily affect, change, or alter their daily routines. Physical therapy is a helpful solution to this medical issue. To find out more about what we treat at Reach Physio Brighton click here.


Intense pain after exercising for a few minutes or aching legs and pain in the lower part of the leg may be pointing to shin splints. The pain can, however, vary at times from sharp to dull. The pain is also never consistent. Although it is not a major medical condition, it calls for visiting a physiologist to rule out a stress fracture. 


One of the most common symptoms of shin splints is tenderness. Also, certain people may notice soreness or pain along the inner side of the shinbone. In some cases, there could be mild swelling in the lower leg. The pain may eventually leave you in the first place if you engage in exercise. However, it may be a non-stop process and even turn to be stress reaction or fracture. 

Some risk factors of shin splints include:

  • A sudden increase in exercising time. 
  • Partaking in military training
  • Having flat feet or high arches 
  • Sprinting on rough surfaces such as hills or hard surfaces 
  • Running all the time 


Having understood the symptoms of shin splints, it is important to get the right treatment to ease the pain associated with the symptoms. This will help to give the bones and muscles enough time to heal. You can have shin improvement if you combine;

  • Ice: Icing the affected part of the leg or compressing it with cold water 3 to 4 times a day, each at ten to twenty minutes for a few days, can help reduce the pain. Icing provides relief and swelling of pain on the shin splints. 
  • Supplements: Using supplements such as vitamin D3 can help to suppress this pain. However, it would help if you talked with your psychotherapist before using it.
  • Physical therapy: Talk to a therapist for physical assistance and exercises to help the healing process.
  • Avoid starting quickly: Upon your recovery, return to physical exercise slowly. By graduallyincreasing your activities, it will help in reducing the chances of a reoccurring shin splint.


Here are a few methods to prevent shin splints from occurring;

  • Movement analysis: Analysing your formal running techniques can help identify the movement pattern that can contribute to shin splints. Changing the way, you run may help reduce the risk associated with developing shin splints. 
  • Pick the right shoes: As a runner, this is one of the important factors to consider when preventing shin splints. If you have covered a few miles or kilometres, say 350 to 500 miles or 500 to 800 kilometres, it is important to consider replacing your shoes.
  • Do not overdo: Excessive running or too much engagement in other high-impact activities at a great intensity can result in shin splints resulting from overloading the shins. 
  • Arch supports: Arch supports are helpful in the prevention of shin splints. They are most important if you have flat arches.
  • Train your strength during the workout as stabilising your physical power of legs, hips, and other core parts i s a preventative measure.


* Contact Reach Physiotherapy for a list of references used for this blog content.