Shin Splints – A Common Preseason Injury

Written by Jaslin Pember

As winter nears and pre-season training peaks you may be experiencing some new aches and pains. One of the most common preseason injuries is shin splints.

What are Shin Splints?

Shin splints are characterised by pain felt along the inside border of your shin bone (medial tibial stress syndrome) or along the front of your shin bone (anterior tibial stress syndrome). The pain most commonly originates from the muscle that lifts our toes off the ground (tibialis posterior or tibialis anterior). You may feel shin pain when your foot initially touches the ground when running or after a sporting match. The intensity and duration of pain can vary depending on what’s causing it.

What causes Shin Splints?

  • Overpronated feet
  • Sudden increase in training/running load
  • Sudden change in running surface
  • Change in footwear
  • Weakness in hip, knee and/or ankle muscles

How do I treat Shin Splints?

Shin splints tend to respond well to ice, hands on treatment, exercise prescription and load management. My advice is to see your Physiotherapist as soon as you experience any degree of shin pain, even if it disappears once you’re warmed up. Ignoring your pain can result in further injury or time off sport, so please seek professional help if you’re experiencing any discomfort.