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Managing ‘Shin Splints’ Without Going To The Doctor

Managing ‘Shin Splints’ Without Going To The Doctor
Managing ‘Shin Splints’ Without Going To The Doctor

Managing ‘Shin Splints’ Without Going To The Doctor

Shin pain (shin splints) is often the bane of many runners or new to exercise enthusiasts. If you are dealing with anterior (front) shin pain, which is getting worse or preventing you from doing your favourite activity, here’s a handy guide to help you. It’s not based on a diagnosis, but purely some steps to try before you seek medical advice (as it can sometimes be easily remedied). These remedies can help in mild cases… persistant or severe pain needs to be assessed by qualified professional.

Common factors identified as contributing to incidence of shin splints:

Change in Actiity / Overload

Have you increased your distance or intensity of exercise recently? Increasing your training load too quickly can cause leg pain. Similarly, high intensity exercise, including HIIT training/ plyometric training with lots of jumping/ running/ burpees etc. can also cause ‘shin splints’. Many individuals who start a new running program, and don’t follow a couch to 5k, can severely overload their body but running too much, too fast, too soon. Huge forces drive through our bones, muscles, tendons and ligaments when we run, and the body needs time to adjust to this. Unloading, by reducing distance, increasing the number of rest days, and slowing down can all help.


If you have recently changed your shoes, or indeed not replaced your shoes in years, this can have an effect on your lower body mechanics (how your foot hits the ground) and lead to pain. It’s always a good idea to chat to a specialist, who may give you an assessment to figure out the perfect shoe fit.

Changes in Your Foot Biomechanics

  • Tight muscles

  • Reduced flexibility

  • Muscle weakness

An assessment from a qualified sports therapist, can help identify any imbalances which exist within your body. A few simple tests can see which muscles may be weak, over active or tight. Imbalances of muscles around a joint, can affect your biomechanics and put undue pressure on your body during movements. Getting a individulaised programme to address these issues can help reduce pain, improve recovery and make you more robust to injury.

Increased Body mass

A higher body mass will mean that there is a higher ground reaction force (more forces going through your lower legs).

Running surface

An uneven camber or lots of road running again increases the ground reaction force.




You may just need to rest to reduce the inflammation. Put your feet up and take it easy.

Lose weight

Reduce ground reaction forces going through your shin

Change of Shoes / Assessment

get the perfect fit

Cross Training (Mix Up Your Schedule)

Challenge your body in different ways so you’re not subjected to repetitive movements. Changing things up can stress your body in a different way increasing your strength, improving the way you move.

Strength Training

To make you more robust / strong around the hip area to help running - this is quite important in keeping injury free. A strong, efficient body is a robust one, resistant to injury. Indeed having an individualised program to address your particular strength/ flexibility needs will be ideal.


Increase ROM around ankle, hip and knee to make sure that your kinetic chain (running stride) is as efficient and effective as possible


Getting a clinical massage therapist to do a thorough assessment on you can help identify areas of tightness and weakness. Creating a specific program to address any issues could have you back on track in no time. Releasing all the lower limb muscles can ease your pain.


Based in Fleet, Hampshire, Fleet Sports Therapy is a team of highly trained clinical therapists, biokineticists and injury rehabilitation experts available for treatment of sports injuries, chronic pain and any general aches, pains and niggles.

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