Shin Splints

Shin Splints

Overcoming Shin Splints: How Physiotherapy Can Get You Back on Track

Shin splints, a common overuse injury, can be a significant obstacle for athletes and active individuals, causing pain and discomfort along the shinbone (tibia). Whether you’re a runner, a dancer, or someone who enjoys regular exercise, dealing with shin splints can be frustrating. Fortunately, physiotherapy offers effective strategies for managing shin splints, reducing symptoms, and preventing recurrence.

Understanding Shin Splints:

Shin splints, medically known as medial tibial stress syndrome (MTSS), is a condition characterised by pain and inflammation along the inner edge of the shinbone. It typically occurs as a result of repetitive stress on the muscles, tendons, and bones of the lower leg, often due to activities such as running, jumping, or high-impact sports. Common symptoms of shin splints include pain, tenderness, swelling, and discomfort during physical activity.

The Role of Physiotherapy in Shin Splint Management:

Physiotherapy plays a crucial role in the management of shin splints, offering a comprehensive approach to rehabilitation and injury prevention. Here’s how physiotherapy can benefit individuals dealing with shin splints:

  • Pain Management: Physiotherapists employ various techniques to alleviate pain and inflammation associated with shin splints, including manual therapy, soft tissue mobilisation, and modalities such as dry needling or ultrasound. By reducing pain, physiotherapy helps create a more conducive environment for healing and rehabilitation.
  • Identifying Contributing Factors: Physiotherapists assess biomechanical factors, training errors, footwear, and other factors contributing to shin splints. By identifying and addressing these underlying issues, physiotherapy helps minimise the risk of reoccurrence and optimise long-term outcomes.
  • Gait Analysis: Physiotherapists conduct gait analysis to assess movement patterns and identify any abnormalities or inefficiencies that may contribute to shin splints. By addressing gait abnormalities and implementing corrective strategies, physiotherapy helps improve biomechanics and reduce stress on the lower leg.
  • Muscle Strengthening and Flexibility: Physiotherapy programs include targeted strengthening exercises to address muscle imbalances and weaknesses that may contribute to shin splints. Additionally, stretching exercises are prescribed to improve flexibility and reduce tension in the muscles of the lower leg, promoting optimal biomechanical function.
  • Gradual Return to Activity: Physiotherapists design personalised rehabilitation programs tailored to each individual’s needs and goals. These programs include a gradual return to activity, incorporating progressive loading and conditioning exercises to rebuild strength, endurance, and resilience in the lower leg.


Shin splints can be a frustrating and debilitating condition, but with the right approach to management, individuals can overcome them and return to their activities pain-free. Physiotherapy offers effective strategies for managing shin splints, reducing symptoms, and preventing recurrence.

If you’re dealing with shin splints, consider consulting with one of our qualified physiotherapists at Physio Elements who can assess your condition, develop a personalised treatment plan, and guide you on the path to recovery and optimal lower limb health.

Call us on (03)9729 7777 to book in an appointment, we can’t wait to hear from you!

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