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Shelbourne Physiotherapy Blog


Shin Splints

Posted in Physiotherapy on Feb 22, 2018.

shin splits victoria bc

What are Shin Splints?

Medically known as Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome, shin splints is a term used to refer to pain along the inside of the tibia or shin bone. The exact pathology that causes the pain of shin splints is unclear and imaging such as ultrasound produces similar results when compared to persons who don’t have shin splints. The pain of shin splints is usually felt over the area where two particular muscles insert into the tibia. These are Tibialis Posterior and Flexor Digitorum Longus, these muscles act to extend the foot and toes respectively.

Despite having an unclear pathology, this can be a debilitating condition that can impact activity levels significantly. The pain can be quite limiting and may even be an early warning sign of a stress fracture and this will need to be ruled out by a medical professional.

What are the symptoms?

Shin splints are typified by persistent leg pain, usually the inside of the shin, halfway down the lower leg. The pain might be felt during exercise or directly after. Some people experience a dull ache over their shin that lasts for quite a while after exercise stops, while for others the pain may be sharp and fades quickly.

The pain is often progressive, becoming worse with shorter distances. Eventually shin splints can severely impact activity levels as the pain becomes too severe to continue exercise.

What causes shin splints?

Shin splints are predominantly seen in runners who increase their distances quickly, often while training for an event. Activities that require repetitive weight bearing of any kind, such as marching or high impact sports have also been shown to cause shin splints. Although the pathology of shin splints is unclear, studies have been able to identify certain risk factors that may predispose someone to shin splints. These include;

  • An abrupt increase in activity level
  • Improper foot wear and support
  • Higher BMI
  • Training on hard or uneven surfaces
  • Tight calf muscles
  • Flat feet
  • Increased external rotation range of the hips
  • Females are more likely to develop shin splints than males.
  • Prior history of shin splints
  • Wearing or having worn orthotics

How can Physiotherapy help shin splints?

The first step for your physiotherapist will be to address any contributing factors and help to adapt your training program to a level that is optimum for you. A period of relative rest may be recommended along with a targeted strengthening and stretching program for any tight or weak muscles.

Switching to low-impact activities such as swimming, cycling and yoga may also help to maintain fitness during recovery. Your running technique will be analyzed and any training errors may be corrected. When getting back into your training routine, it is usually recommended that distances are not increased by more than 10% per week as this allows the tissues of the body to react to the increased demands and adapt accordingly.

None of the information in this newsletter is a replacement for proper medical advice. Always see a Shelbourne Physiotherapist for advice on your individual injury.

Shelbourne Physiotherapy, Pilates & Massage is a locally owned health company with 3 locations in beautiful Victoria & Saanich, British Columbia. Our clinics offer Physiotherapy, IMS (Intramuscular Stimulation) & Dry Needling, Kinesiology, Exercise Rehabilitation, Massage Therapy, Sports Rehabilitation, Post-Operative Rehabilitation, Vestibular, Dizziness & Balance Rehabilitation, Women's health (peri-partum and incontinence), Acupuncture, Hydrotherapy, Scoliosis Treatment,  Clinical Osteofit Classes, Osteoporosis TreatmentAquatherapy, Pool Therapy, Real Time Ultrasound, Arthritis and Osteoarthritis Treatment, Electrical Modalities, Pelvic Floor Physio, Pelvic Pain Physiotherapy, Incontinence Treatment, Sports Physiotherapy, Chronic Pain Treatment,  Shockwave Therapy (ESWT), Aquatic Therapy, Yoga, Yogalates, Saanich PhysiotherapyPolestar Pilates, Stott Pilates, Clinical Pilates, PIlates Instructor Training in Victoria BCScoliosis Treatment and Custom Knee Bracing, Physiocanhelp.ca.

Our clinics are approved providers for WorksafeBC (WCB) Physiotherapy and ICBC Physiotherapy, Kinesiology & Rehabilitation. We are proud members of the Canadian Physiotherapy Association (CPA), the Canadian Academy of Manipulative Therapy(CAMPT), Sport Physiotherapy Canada, SportmedBC, British Columbia Association of Kinesiologists (BCAK), Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology (CSEP), Vestibular Disorders Association, ISST International Schroth 3D Scoliosis TherapyInternational Society for Medical Shockwave Treatment (ISMST), Think Local Victoria, Canadian Federation of Independent Business(CFIB),  the Orthopaedic Division of the CPA and the Physiotherapy Association of British Columbia (PABC) We have a clinic located in the Gordon Head Recreation Centre in Saanich

Shelbourne Physiotherapy staff provide clinical instruction at our Victoria Clinic for students in the UBC Faculty of Medicine. We are an accredited facility for UBC Dept. of Physical Therapy Student Practicums. 

Our 3 Victoria Physiotherapy clinics are modern and provide a relaxed healing atmosphere with private rooms available. Many Physiotherapy clinics in Victoria work out of a single room or a basement that does not offer the equipment, resources or space to help you recover properly. Our convenient locations make our clinics easy to access from all the neighbourhoods of Victoria, Saanich, Esquimalt and Oak Bay such as Dockside Physiotherapy GreenFairfield, James Bay, Oaklands, Fernwood, Harris Green, Jubilee, Hillside QuadraGonzales, Rockland, Gordon Head, Cadboro Bay, Uplands, Downtown Victoria, Cordova Bay, Arbutus, Camosun College Lansdowne Campus and the Songhees. We offer appointment times ranging from 7:00AM to 7:00PM for your convenience.Our Multidisciplinary Health Clinic is located right across the street from the Hillside Shopping Centre. we share a building with the Shelbourne Medical Centre which has a walk in clinic and many great General Practitioners.

Think Local First Shelbourne PhysiotherapyWe are a friendly, local Victoria & Saanich owned and community based health company designed to meet your individual needs. Our mission is to provide Physiotherapy and related services to the communities of Victoria, Saanich, Oak Bay, Victoria West and Esquimalt and help keep these residents active and healthy. We strive to creatively and professionally maximize client functioning and promote life-long wellness.

Our experienced and dedicated Health Care Professionals include Victoria & Saanich Physiotherapists Penny Salmas, Jennifer Kolot, Mark Gottfried, Nicole Gill, Jenna Peters, Brad Curry, Andrew Mills, Meena Sran, Phil Lawrence, Jessica Shave, Kim Lobb, Kathy Murdoch, Laura Werner, Rosie Chamberlin, Ruan Le Roux, Nina Bai, Seung Bai, Eimear Brogan, Faralay Vander Schilden, Sarah HubbsIsaac Davies, Mary-Anne Levson and Blair Braz. Our experienced Victoria BC Kinesiologists include Heidi Nottelman, Larry Muir, Radek Wiechecki and Lindsey Tabish. Our experienced Victoria & Saanich BC Registered Massage Therapists include Taryn Krizan, Selena Curvelo, Dresden Varney, Kathy Pantalon, T'airah Bowker RMTMolly Scott, Jessica Bundy RMT and Rebekah Neubert. Our Certified Victoria Pilates and Yoga Instructors include Sharon McAuley, Dana Carter, Chris Csak, Holly Newton, Regina Flueck, Rhiannon King and Jenny Stewart.


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