Shin Splints

Shin Splints

Shin splints is a condition characterised by pain along, or just behind the tibia (shinbone) during physical activity. Shin splints is a common sports injury and is caused by repetitive loading stress on the tibia during sports involving running and jumping. The pain felt as a result of shin splints is due to inflammation of the muscles and fascia around the tibia, and if not managed correctly, this can lead to inflammation of the bone and subsequent stress fractures.

What causes shin splints?

The causes the shin splints can be broken down in to 2 main categories:

Intrinsic factors – non- modifiable factors such as age, height, gender, as well as biomechanics such as hip internal rotation, genu valgus (knock knees), high foot arch. And modifiable factors fitness, body weight, mobility, strength, skill.

Extrinsic factors – sport related factors, training load, equipment, training surface and footwear.


Key management of shin splints is modifying load, that is, considering all the risk factors above and modifying (where possible) to reduce loading on the tibia. This may involve modifying training load as well as using graded exercise to improve the strength and mobility of the lower limb. The use of orthotics can help manage foot biomechanics if this is a contributing factor, and taping may assist with pain and return to sport.


running?, 1., disease, H., Women, 2., Prevention, E., movement, H. and partner, W., 2020. Are Shin Splints Stopping You From Running? – Exercise Right.. [online] Exercise Right. Available at: <> [Accessed 15 October 2020].

Physiopedia. 2020. Shin-Splints. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 15 October 2020].

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