Shin splints refers to inflammation occurring where a tendon or muscle attaches to the shin / front of the lower leg bone.
This injury results from overuse. Tendons and muscles attach to bone via a layer of connecting tissue overlying the bone which is called the periostium. When muscles contract, they pull on their tendons, which, in turn, pull on the periostium overlying the bone. With overuse, poor biomechanics or excessive muscle tightness, this pulling can damage the periostium. Exercising with the wrong shoes or frequently on a very hard training surface, especially at the beginning of the season can also increase the likelihood of developing shin splints. This results in an inflammatory response as the body prepares to repair the damage. Consequently, shin splints is inflammation where a tendon attaches to the bone.
It is typically felt as pain along the inside border of the big shin bone (tibia). It is usually painful as you begin exercising; however, as the area begins to warm up the pain may subside. Following exercise, the pain may gradually return as inflammation takes place. The area of tenderness may be painful to touch and you may feel bands of thickened tissue adjacent to the tibia. This condition is common in growing children as well as long distance runners/road runners.
Physiotherapy will include Ultrasound, Cold Laser Therapy, Interferential Therapy, eccentric loading and strengthening exercises, dry needling and stretches. Causes identified above, should be corrected including faulty training techniques, biomechanical problems and muscle imbalances. These corrections might also include inner soles for your shoes, taping of the shin and posture correction.