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What we’ll cover
  1. What causes shin splints?
  2. What are the common symptoms of shin splints?
  3. How are shin splints diagnosed?
  4. Treatment for shin splints

Shin splints (Medial tibia stress syndrome)

Shin splints (medial tibia stress syndrome) is a condition that commonly causes pain around the front of the shin.  Pain or symptoms can occur with increased loading such as brisk walking, jogging or running.

Shin splints

What causes shin splints?

One of the most common causes of is due to overuse and overload.  Our team at Malvern East Physiotherapy has recently seen an increase in shin splints with football preseason and a number of upcoming running events.

Whilst the exact cause is unknown, symptoms are believed to occur as a result of inflammation due to muscles and tendons pulling on the shin bone.

What are the common symptoms of shin splints?

Excessive stress and loading commonly occurs in the lower aspect of the shin.  Depending on the exact cause of shin splints, symptoms may be experienced on either side of the shin.  Depending on the stage of injury, symptoms may vary.

In mild cases, symptoms may include pain which appears to “warm up” and disappear with activity.  In severe cases, symptoms will be present during activity and even at rest.

How are shin splints diagnosed?

Your physiotherapist is able to thoroughly assess and diagnose shin splints.  Depending on the severity, MRI or bone scans may be used to diagnose other causes of your symptoms such as stress fractures.

Importantly, your physiotherapist will identify the cause of your shin splints.  Causes of shins splints can include:

  • Over-training or excessive increases in load.
  • Poor biomehanics including excessive pronation or excessive supination of the foot.
  • Inappropriate footwear.
  • Reduced flexibility at the ankle or knee joint.
  • Weak lower limb muscles including the calves, quadriceps or hamstrings.
  • Poor core control and pelvic stability.

Treatment for shin splints

Physiotherapy treatment has been proven to be effective for shin splints.  Depending on your signs and symptoms, your physiotherapist will work closely to reduce your acute pain.  This can include massage, dry needling or joint mobilisations.  If due to overuse or overload from training, your physiotherapist will identify a safe training program to ensure you can get back to training as quickly and as safely as possible.

Specific exercises for flexibility or strength will also be introduced to allow you to keep active without future exacerbations or injury.  These will be simple exercises to be performed.  In some cases, running specific clinical pilates can be used to ensure injury prevention and improve running performance.

If footwear or biomechanics are factors, your physiotherapist may liaise with podiatry to ensure appropriate footwear.  In some cases, better footwear combined with orthotics can greatly reduce the likelihood of recurrent shin splints.

If you are experiencing shin splints, see our physiotherapy team today.  Call us today on 9571 6888 or book online.


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Last week our team celebrated another great year. 

Whilst Melbourne’s weather had its own plans, we were still determined to keep with the theme of ‘Italian Summer’. We let our hair down to master the art of mixology 🍸🍹followed by an Italian feast. Friday morning Run Club with the team. Practicing what we preach!

Staying stronger, healthier and happier. This time last week, our team was nervously completing their final preparations for @melbmara . 

Congratulations to our physiotherapists and ME community who ran on the day.

Dilen and Michael completed their first marathons. Abbey and Lizzie smashed out their first half. Last Sunday, our team headed down to see our own Matt Warren win a premiership in the VAFA Premier Men’s Competition. Last week our team dedicated a full day to professional development and team building. At ME Physio we pride ourselves on collaboration to put you at the centre of everything we do. 

Our team covered the latest treatments for back pain, financial well-being and finished off the day with salsa dancing. 

Many thanks to our guests including James Schomburgk from @the2ndvisitphysio , Financial Planners Tony Vikram & Cameron Bishop and the @salsafoundation At ME Physio, our focus is on helping you get stronger so that you can keep doing the things you love.

For Tony and Joan, healthier and stronger is being able to navigate the iconic Coast to Coast Walk in the UK! We recently had the pleasure of hosting Elise Bujor from Women’s & Men’s Health Physiotherapy to discuss women’s health issues across the lifespan. 

Our team pride themselves on staying up to date to ensure you’re able to stay healthier, happier and stronger. Huge milestones over the past few weeks with both Tom and Jude from @delasallefc doing their first bit of running in their rehab. 

Tom is on the return from an ankle dislocation whilst Jude is putting in the hard work following a knee reconstruction. Last week our team enjoyed some friendly rivalry at the footy. 

With finals around the corner, some of our team can now safely make holidays plans for September. We recently had the pleasure of hosting the podiatry team from @sespodiatry. 

Our physiotherapists Michael and Abbey presented on rehabilitation following Achilles surgical repair and ankle surgery. Last weekend some of our team got together to complete the 10 km run @runmelbourne. There was no finish line picture as some were keen to run another 15 km!

Whilst running wasn’t for some - brunch was well received by everyone. Shoulder impingement can be incredibly frustrating and painful. 

Tony has been working closely with our physiotherapists Vernon and Dilen to get on top of his shoulder pain. His treatment plan has included hands-on physiotherapy and individualised exercises in our hydrotherapy and strength programs.

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