Shin Splints: Understanding and Treating the Pain


Shin splints, or medial tibial stress syndrome (MTSS), are a common source of pain for athletes and active individuals. These painful sensations along the shinbone can disrupt your routine, but with the right care, you can manage and treat them effectively. In this blog, we’ll delve into shin splints, their causes, symptoms, and treatment options to help you regain an active, pain-free lifestyle.

Understanding Shin Splints

Shin splints refer to pain and discomfort along the inside of the shinbone, typically occurring between the knee and ankle. They result from overuse or excessive stress on the shinbone and surrounding tissues, causing micro-trauma in the muscles and connective tissue, which can result in a bone stress fracture if not managed well. 

Common Symptoms

– Pain along the inner shinbone.
– Tenderness or soreness in the affected area.
– Swelling and inflammation.
– Discomfort during or after physical activity.
– Optimal Management and Treatment Options:

1. Rest and Activity Modification: Allow your body to rest and refrain from activities that worsen the pain.
2. Ice and Elevation: Apply ice and elevate your leg to reduce inflammation.
3. Compression: Use compression sleeves to support the affected area.
4. Proper Footwear: Ensure appropriate, well-fitting athletic shoes.
5. Stretching and Strengthening Exercises: Engage in exercises to strengthen leg muscles and improve flexibility.
6. Orthotics: Consider custom insoles for foot support.
7. Gait Analysis: Seek professional analysis for biomechanical issues.
8. NSAIDs: Use over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs under professional guidance.
9. Physiotherapy: Consult a physiotherapist for tailored treatment plans and expert guidance.

Gradual Return to Activity: Gradually resume activities to prevent recurrence with professional guidance.

Shin splints can be a painful obstacle, but early recognition and proper care are essential. Consult with a physiotherapist or healthcare professional to create a personalized plan for recovery and prevention, allowing you to return to your active pursuits with minimized risk of future shin splints.

Liam McKay


Liam was born and raised in Kalgoorlie-Boulder and has graduated from Curtin University with a Bachelor of Science in Physiotherapy and a Bachelor of Science in Exercise, Sport & Rehabilitation. 

Liam has a special interest in sport and musculoskeletal related injuries and pain. With a strong passion for powerlifting and his past background in various sports including competitive swimming, Liam likes to facilitate his patients with active evidence-based recovery approaches to alleviate pain, improve performance and promote an overall improvement in quality of life. 

When not in the clinic, Liam likes to spend his time at the gym, hanging out with friends and family, and procrastinating with YouTube and Netflix. 

Special interests: 

  • Sporting injuries
  • Powerlifting/gym
  • Back pain
  • Knee pain

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Midland Physio has been providing leading physiotherapy and allied health care services in Perth since 2002.