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Shin Splints

image of a woman gripping her shin

Shin splints are characterized by pain in the front part of the lower leg. It occurs on the inside edge of the large bone there — the tibia. This condition is common in runners, but can also occur in other physically active people.

Shin splints usually happen during or after a change in the intensity of physical activity, such as running more miles or more frequently.

Shin splints are not a standard medical diagnosis. The condition may also be called medial tibial stress syndrome (MTSS), anterior tibial pain or exercise-induced leg pain.

Causes of Shin Splints

Shin splints are very common among professional and recreational athletes, especially runners, military recruits and dancers.

Overuse of the leg muscles — without taking enough time to rest and heal — can lead to inflammation or swelling of the tendons, muscles or tissue covering the shin.

This causes pain along the front of the shin. Symptoms range from a dull, tight feeling to a sharp pain along the shin.

Several factors increase your chance of developing shin splints, such as:

  • Running long distances or on hills or uneven surfaces
  • Training incorrectly or too much
  • Switching your routine
  • Wearing the wrong shoes
  • Not warming up properly
  • Foot problems

In addition to excessive training, other conditions can also lead to pain in the shins, such as:

  • Flat feet
  • A very rigid arch of the foot
  • Chronic anterior compartment syndrome (when the large muscle on the front of the lower leg becomes too large for the tissue that surrounds it)
  • Stress fractures

Chiropractic Care for Shin Splints

Shin splints will often go away with basic therapy, which involves:

  • Rest
  • Ice
  • Massage
  • Rehabilitation exercises
  • Stretching
  • Kinesio taping

However, if the shin splits don't clear up quickly, your chiropractor will look for other problems that may be contributing to the pain. This includes examining your spine, hips, knees and feet for misalignments.

One problem with the foot that can lead to shin splints is over pronation — or “rolling in” of the foot. This condition causes overstretching in the shin muscles. If this is the case, your chiropractor may prescribe a foot orthotic for you. This will adjust how your foot strikes the ground.

Your chiropractor may also make adjustments in your foot joints, ankle, knee, SI joint or low back. This can relieve the pain from shin splints, or prevent them from happening again.

If you have shin splints, look for a chiropractor who specializes in treating sports injuries and conditions. This will help you return to your regular training program.

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Testimonials

Reviews By Our Satisfied Patients

  • "I have been going to chiropractors off and on for many years but only when my back was hurting to a point where I had trouble walking due to the back pain. I’ve had a bad back off and on for as long as I can remember so I was anxious to find permanent relief. I started going to Dr. Kip about 2 years ago and after several months I was put on a maintenance program, initially twice a week and months later, once a week. Since I’ve been on the maintenance program, I’ve had no regular issues. These regular visits also have other benefits due to discussions with the Dr. and office staff and info on the “health T.V.”"
    -Ron R.
  • "I have been coming to see Dr. Kip for almost a year. I started coming in because of my back pain but I wasn’t really sure what chiropractic was or how it could help. Today I feel I have a much better understanding and that chiropractic is a very good and necessary asset of healing. My back pain is not so severe now. It feels better, and when it does begin to hurt I know what to do to make it better. The kindness and understanding of the office staff give the whole experience a calming and reassuring vibe."
    -Joycie G.
  • "Our family has been coming to see Dr. Kip for 2 years. We came in initially because Julie was having severe shoulder pain along with numbness in her arms. She thought it was linked to a problem in her neck. Brian suffered from migraines every few months. We didn’t know much about chiropractic care before. We’d had some in the past but never on a regular basis. I believe our family is healthier as a result of chiropractic care. In fact this year has been the healthiest year for our family with no sickness other than colds and Brian experiencing fewer migraines! We love the staff, of course, and the affordable care plan allows our entire family to receive care."
    -Brian K. and Family