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  • Shared Experiences

    Is there any way to avoid shin splints when running?

    I want to train for a half marathon but in the past I have suffered from shin splints (two times so far). I am worried it will happen again. Is there anything I can do to avoid it? What causes it?
    • 1 comment
    • Vitali Kanevsky
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  • Vitali Kanevsky

    Physiotherapist

    Modern, comfortable, clean and well equipped practice in Rose Bay, Sydney providing high standards of professional care, dedicated to returning you to pain-free activity.Physiotherapists are ... View Profile

    Shin splints or ‘Medial Tibial Traction Periostitis’ is usually diffuse pain along the inside border the the tibia, which usually decreases with warming up. (More focal pain may be a sign of a stress fracture). The pain is generally worse the morning after a run. Historically the tibialis posterior was thought to be the source of the pain, but more recently the soleus and flexor digitorum longus muscles have been implicated.

    As you run, the above muscles with work eccentrically resist pronation. Excessive pronation due to overuse combined with repetitive impact leads to chronic traction (pulling) over the muscle insertion into the border of the tibia, leading to the problem.

    A number of factors may contribute to the condition including excessive foot pronation (flat feet), training errors, shoe design, surgace type, muscle dysfunction, fatigue and reduced flexibility. I would suggest a visit to the physio to look at the above factors. In my experience the main contributing factor is the foot pronation. Supporting the foot with orthotics (I find the semi-rigid are the most comfortable) is the most effective factor in preventing recurrence. This needs to be done in combination with checking the running shoe design, support and wear.

    It is a lot easier to treat the condition whilst it is dormant to prevent recurrence than to try to settle it in the middle of a training regimen. Get it seen to earlier than later by a physiotherapist such as us in Rose Bay.

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