Shin Splints

Take strides towards healing.


If you’re an athlete or enjoy getting out and about for a stroll, you may be familiar with discomfort and pain in your lower leg. This condition is known as shin splints and commonly occurs on the inside edge of your lower leg.

Shin splints, or medial tibial stress syndrome (MTSS), are an overuse injury that often affects people who place repeated stress on their lower leg. The shinbone (tibia) runs from the knee to the ankle at the front of the lower leg, and when the muscles and tissues in that area are overused or misused, inflammation may occur and lead to pain in the shinbone known as shin splints.


Shin splints are especially common among active people. Whether you’re a runner, dancer, netball or football player, you’ve likely experienced this discomfort. However, shin splints may occur in anybody, including people who don’t exercise regularly.

Some causes of shin splints include:

  • Overuse or an increase in intensity— Engaging in activities that involve a sudden increase in exercise duration or intensity
  • Ankle joint pronation— Excessive inward rolling of the ankle joint, known as overpronation, puts additional stress on the shin
  • Improper running surface or footwear— Running on hard or uneven surfaces or wearing unsupportive shoes increases the strain on the shin and leads to inadequate shock absorption
  • Flat feet— Having flat feet or excessive rolling in (pronation) when walking or running places extra pressure on the shin muscles
  • High-arched feet— Having high foot arches often means your feet lack proper shock absorption, forcing pressure directly onto the shinbone
  • Tight or weak muscles— Whether your lower leg muscles are tight or weak, either may compromise your muscles’ ability to absorb shock adequately
  • Biomechanical factors— Having an abnormal gait or foot mechanics may alter how your weight and force are distributed when you move, possibly causing you to overuse specific shin muscles


The symptoms of shin splints may differ from person to person, but typically include:

  • Pain on the front of your lower leg
  • Pain in the muscles on either side of your shinbone
  • Shinbone tenderness, inflammation, or sensitivity
  • Pain that comes and goes during physical activity
  • Pain that continues after physical activity
  • Pain that worsens after physical activity
  • Pain that is most noticeable at the beginning of physical activity
  • Pain may be mild or severe, sharp or dull, or even a burning sensation.


Shin splint treatment and other shin pain treatment options depend on the underlying cause.

In some cases, rest may be enough to recover from shin splints and allow you to return to physical activity once the pain has subsided. You may also apply a cold compress to your shin/s for 10 to 20 minutes three to four times a day for several days. This is because ice aids in relieving swelling and pain. However, ensure you don’t apply ice directly to your skin— always use a cloth or towel as a barrier.

In other cases, seeking assistance from a podiatrist may be beneficial. An experienced podiatrist, such as the Capital Podiatry team, may be able to assist with treatment options such as:

Your Shin Splints Questions Answered

What happens if you don’t seek shin splint treatment?

If left unaddressed, repetitive shin splints may lead to lower leg stress fractures. Weak shin muscles put more stress on the bone, which may lead to fatigue and micro fractures. As such, it’s crucial to identify and address the underlying causes of your shin splints with a podiatrist to promote recovery and reduce your risk of long-term complications.

What are the different types of shin splints?

Medial tibial stress syndrome, or MTSS, is the most common form of shin splints. This type tends to cause pain on the inside of the shinbone.

The other type of shin splint is called anterior tibial stress syndrome. In this type, the pain is typically on the front and outer edge of the shinbone.

Can shin splints be prevented?

You may be able to reduce your risk of shin splints by:


Experienced Local Team

Capital Podiatry has been providing top-notch podiatry care to Canberra locals for over 15 years. Our experience and depth of knowledge allow us to offer high-quality care to residents in Tuggeranong and surrounding suburbs such as Monash, Oxley, and Bonython.

We Keep Your Future in Mind

We understand how shin pain may affect your quality of life and disrupt your daily routine. That’s why we get to know you and your goals and tailor our approach so you can meet them best.

Innovation Focused

Our knowledge constantly evolves, and we love sharing what we know. We also use our knowledge to incorporate new technology and innovation wherever we can in an effort to address your pain and get you back up and moving as quickly as possible.

Make an Appointment to See Your Shin Pain Treatment Options Today

Shin splints are typically uncomfortable and may have you sitting on the sidelines for a while, but there are ways you can reduce your time off. By appointment with our experienced team at Capital Podiatry, you may find yourself back up and running before you know it!

Whether you’re a seasoned athlete or a busy parent trying to keep up with the kids, we aim to find the most appropriate shin splint treatment for you. Contact us today for dedicated, patient-focused care with a wide range of shin pain treatments.

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