Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome (Shin Splints)

Medial tibial stress syndrome (MTSS) is a common overuse injury of the shin provoked following weight bearing activities including exercise [1-3]. MTSS is characterised by pain along the bottom two thirds of the inside of the shin bone [1, 3-5]. This condition is a common cause of pain and dysfunction amongst athletic populations, particularly those involving repetitive dynamic or impact based loads such as running, dancing or jumping [1, 3, 6, 7] and is something that we regularly treat at Avenues Physio-Fitness. This debilitating condition is very painful and distressing for many young athletes. Pain and dysfunction often limits training participation and impairs competition performance. Recovery can take several weeks or even months, with the potential to impact on an athletes entire season [6]. It is essential that an athlete is treated by a team of therapists with extensive knowledge in lower limb biomechanics, training factors and the pressures on the body with dynamic sport.

MTSS is one of the most common causes of leg pain following exercise [3]. It accounts for 10-20% of running injuries, and up to 60% of overuse injuries of the leg [7].  So what causes shin splints? Overall, the evidence is varied and the causes appear to be multi factorial. There are three main factors that our physiotherapists will explore with you to diagnose and help treat your shin pain. These factors simply are muscle imbalances or lower limb biomechanics, training errors/ equipment errors or body mass [4].Read More