Running injuries are a pest and can be incredibly frustrating when they stop you from staying active and doing the thing you love to do. We’ve gone through the common knee injuries; Runner’s knee and IT band syndrome and then covered Achilles Tendinitis. The next area we see many runners get pain while running is in the shins.
Shin splints refers to pain at the inner part of your lower leg, along your shinbone. This biggest contributing factor to shin splints is an increase in running load which occurs too quickly, especially while running on hard surfaces like concrete footpaths or roads.
Majority of the time shin splints will subside with adequate deload and rest. However, if no treatment is done and no deload is taken, then shin splints can lead to a stress reaction and ultimately stress fracture.
Commonly you’ll experience a dull pain along the front inner part of your shin bone which is tender on touch. Pain often gets worse as you exercise, and you may even notice some mild swelling along the inner border of your shin bone.
Like most common running injuries, shin splints treatment includes:
RICE Protocol (rest, ice, compression, elevation)
Taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) like Voltaren or Nurofen
DELOAD – Cutting back how often and how far you run
Load management is critical for recovering from shin splints. They often get better with rest or by cutting back on how frequently or how far you run. Then, once the tissue has had a chance to settle you should begin to reload and build up tolerance by slowly and progressively increasing your running load again. During this period, it is important to also undergo strength and stability work for your lower limb. Targeting your posterior chain (glutes hamstrings and calf) will help to ensure that your lower limb mechanics are in sync and not putting unwanted pressure through your shins.
If you’re suffering from pain when running and want to get thoroughly assessed and an individualised treatment plan made, then book in a full Running Assessment at Befit Physio’s: The Running Space in Randwick.