Shin Pain & Injury

john miller physiotherapist

Article by John Miller

Shin Pain

shin splints

Most shin pain is the result of chronic overuse resulting in overloading the structures such as your bone, muscle and tendons.

Common Sources of Shin Pain

Shin pain or injury is a very common lower leg complaint in runners and other athletes who need to run in their sport eg football.  Shin pain most commonly manifests itself as shin splints

Shin Splints

Shin splints are characterised by pain in the front or side of the lower leg, particularly near the shin and often involve small tears of the leg muscle near the shin bone or injury to the bone itself eg periosteal injury. It is especially common among people involved in athletic pursuits such as running and walking.

Symptoms include tightness, tenderness on palpation of the edge of the shin bone (tibia) and throbbing of the shins during and after activity. The symptoms often disappear at rest then return as soon as the activity is resumed. There are two main types of shin splints: anterior and posteromedial.

More info about Shin Splints.

Stress Fractures

Should shin splints progress they may eventually present as stress fractures, which will not only affect your sporting performance but interrupt your training plan. Most stress fractures require you to rest for at least six weeks so it is important to differentiate between the two injuries. While causes can vary, it is highly recommended that all shin pain sufferers are professionally examined to assess if any poor biomechanics, training schedules and/or dietary issues are predisposing you to a shin injury.

More info about Stress Fractures.

Compartment Syndrome

Compartment syndrome or in its acute form - CECS (Chronic Exertional Compartment Syndrome) is a condition where your circulation and soft tissue function are compromised by an increased pressure within a space.

Acute compartment syndrome is a surgical emergency to prevent tissue death. Chronic compartment syndrome is reversible with good professional advice and injury management.

More info about Compartment Syndrome.

Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness

DOMS (or Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) is another form of overuse that can affect your muscles adjacent to the shin.

More info about DOMS.

Shin Pain Running

The most common cause of shin pain that we see at PhysioWorks is shin pain from running. Normally the shin pain is caused by excessive changes in training loads. This can happen as runners ramp up their loads from zero to a few kilometres or at the other end of the spectrum as runners are preparing for longer events eg marathon or Ironman events.

However, any sport that involves running or even landing activities can experience shin pain due to overloading. This can include all of the football codes, netball or even high-speed and load sports such as gymnastics.

More info: Running Injuries

Leg Cramps

Generally, aching legs, leg cramps can all result in leg pain. Another interesting source of leg pain is Restless Legs Syndrome.

Calf and Achilles Injuries

While not often thought of as a source of shin pain, behind your shin is your calf which is vulnerable to a torn calf muscle or an Achilles tendonitis.

Referred Pain

Plus you can also experience referred pain to your shin from sciatica or a lower back injury.

Common Sources of Shin Pain & Injury

General Information

Achilles Injuries

Calf Pain

Shin Pain

Muscle Injuries

Systemic Conditions

Neurological Conditions

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Shin Pain Treatment

At PhysioWorks, we have several our highly skilled physiotherapists with a special interest in shin pain and joint injury. Traditionally, most shin pain conditions have often been treated with only short-term aims in mind. e.g. rest or painkillers.

One of the differences that you'll notice with PhysioWorks treatment is the thorough analysis of WHY you actually have your shin pain, rather than only treating your symptomatic pain. We strongly believe that if you don't correct why you are vulnerable to shin pain then it is only a matter of time before your shin pain returns.

Research findings have modified modern physiotherapy treatment approaches to shin pain. Together with a thorough knee and lower limb assessment, your treatment can progress quickly to get you pain-free and performing your normal sport or daily activities in the shortest time possible.

Common Shin Pain Treatment Options

Please click the links below for more information about some of the Common Knee Treatments that we can recommend or utilise for your knee pain.

  • Early Injury Treatment
  • Avoid the HARM Factors
  • What to do after a Muscle Strain or Ligament Sprain?
  • Acupuncture and Dry Needling
  • Sub-Acute Soft Tissue Injury Treatment
  • Closed Kinetic Chain Exercises
  • Active Foot Posture Correction Exercises
  • Gait Analysis
  • Biomechanical Analysis
  • Balance Enhancement Exercises
  • Proprioception & Balance Exercises
  • Agility & Sport-Specific Exercises
  • Medications?
  • Heel Cups
  • Orthotics
  • Soft Tissue Massage
  • Walking Boot
  • Brace or Support
  • Electrotherapy & Local Modalities
  • Heat Packs
  • Joint Mobilisation Techniques
  • Kinesiology Tape
  • Neurodynamics
  • Prehabilitation
  • Running Analysis
  • Strength Exercises
  • Stretching Exercises
  • Supportive Taping & Strapping
  • TENS Machine
  • Video Analysis
  • Shin Pain FAQs

  • Common Physiotherapy Treatment Techniques
  • What is Pain?
  • Physiotherapy & Exercise
  • Massage Styles and their Benefits
  • How Does Kinesiology Tape Reduce Swelling?
  • What Causes Post-Exercise Muscular Pain?
  • Barefoot Running: Your MUST READ Guide to the Pro's and Con's.
  • Heat Packs. Why does heat feel so good?
  • Post-Run Soreness: Should You Be Concerned?
  • Running Recovery: 6 Helpful Tips
  • Sports Injury? What to do? When?
  • What are Common Adolescent / Children Leg Injuries?
  • What are Growing Pains?
  • What are the Common Massage Therapy Techniques?
  • What are the Early Warning Signs of an Injury?
  • What is a TENS Machine?
  • What is Chronic Pain?
  • What is Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy?
  • What is Nerve Pain?
  • What is Sports Physiotherapy?
  • What to expect when you visit PhysioWorks?
  • What's the Benefit of Stretching Exercises?
  • When is the Best Time for a Pre-Event Massage?
  • Buy Helpful Products for Shin Pain

    Shin Pain

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    Last updated 14-Jul-2017 02:16 PM

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