Shin splints

Harris & Ross regularly see patients who present with what is often described as ‘shin splints.’ It can be a very painful issue which can limit activity and cause a range of other problems. With our help, the symptoms of shin splints can be alleviated. Find out more about the condition and how we treat it here-

What is it?

“Shin splints” is a generic term for pain felt through the inner part of the shinbone or tibia. It is very common in dancers, runners and military personnel.

It is caused by excessive pronation, (collapsing of the inner arch of the foot), due to flat feet or overuse, in combination with recurrent impact. This causes repetitive pulling where one of the calf muscles (soleus) attaches onto the inner edge of the shinbone. This causes chronic stress to the bone; hence shin splints are also described as Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome (MTSS).

Risk Factors

  • Excessive pronation
  • Flat feet
  • Poor biomechanics
  • Weak Calf Muscles (Soleus and Tibialis Posterior)
  • Weak Gluteal muscles
  • Reduced flexibility
  • Increased Calf bulk

Common symptoms

  • Pain along the inner aspect of the shinbone
  • Pain may decrease when warming up
  • Pain returns following exercise
  • Pain often worse the morning after exercise


Due to the number of factors that can contribute to shin splints physiotherapy will likely focus on a few things, working in tandem with input from podiatry. A number of treatments are listed below:

  • Advice and education with regards the problem
  • Rest, Ice and analgesia
  • Podiatry input with regards to orthotics
  • Flexibility exercises – stretches and foam rolling
  • Strengthening Exercises
  • Soft tissue techniques to help ease areas of focal tension
  • Graded return to sport/exercise program

Following your initial assessment we will discuss the issues causing your shin splints and help you decide the most suitable treatment and management plan for you. Physiotherapy and podiatry is the mainstay of treatment. We have good links with specialist sports doctors and foot and ankle consultants locally should you need onward referral too.

To make an appointment for an initial physio assessment, and discuss a treatment plan for shin splints call Harris & Ross on 0161 832 9000 or click the book now icon below.