Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome: Shin Splints

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Summertime arriving means longer days and more opportunities to get out and be active. For a runner this can mean longer or more frequent runs and plenty of opportunities to jump in a race. Unfortunately with the increase in miles comes the opportunity for various running related injuries to ruin your running season. Certain injuries are more common than others and knowing about it can help prevent that nagging pain that will keep you away for your favorite running shoes.

 

Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome, most often referred to as “Shin Splints”, may seem like a minor injury but this chronic syndrome can keep a runner out for weeks if not months.   The most common causes of MTSS are from a sudden increase in miles or intensity of training. The pain is most often felt in the inner portion of the lower 1/3 of the tibia. The runner usually experiences the pain during activity and it may subside once activity is reduced or stopped. According to the National Running Survey 1 out of every 10 runners will begin to experience Shin Splints each year.

 

Of course prevention is the best way deal with this issue and some key ways to prevent the onset of Shin Splints are:

 

  • Gradually increase your miles each week.
  • Consider your workouts each week and give yourself adequate rest between difficult days
  • If predisposed to Shin Splints then make sure you have adequate shoes with support for activity
  • If possible avoid running on hard surfaces

 

If you are currently experiences Shin Splints it is important to give yourself adequate rest and consider the following:

 

  • Ice massage – this can simply be done at home by freezing a small cup of water and then massaging that ice on irritated region for 5-10 mins up to 3x a day
  • Exercises – Preforming basic rehabilitation exercises throughout the day will help you recover faster. Check out these websites to give you some good suggestions for exercises:
  • Stretch – Gently stress the surrounding muscles on a regular basis
  • Using a Shin Splint brace such as the SS-1 when running will help to reduce the stress placed on the irritated region
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