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Shin Splint

One common type of what is known as shin splints is Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome (MTSS).  It is an overuse injury of lower leg musculature.  Shin splints usually occur when too much stress localised at the tibia (shin) bone causes inflammation of the muscle, tendon, and periosteum (bone lining).  Usually, this occurs when there is an increase in physical activity which leads to the musculoskeletal tissues being overworked.  If shin splints are not diagnosed and treated early, it may lead to serious complications such as tibial stress fracture or chronic compartment syndrome.  At that point, orthopaedic surgery may be required.

Causes of shin splint

Shin splints are often caused by an increase in physical activity, such as after the new year when many people start to exercise more to keep fit.  This causes the muscles around the tibia bone to be overused and fatigued.


Common factors contributing to shin splints are:

  • Over-pronation of the foot

  • Improper footwear
  • Inadequate stretching
  • Type of weight bearing surface

Runners are a high-risk group for getting shin splints due to the nature of the sport, where the legs are placed under repetitive stress.  Other groups such as military personnel in the Singapore Armed Forces, tennis players and dancers are also at risk of developing shin splints.

Signs and Symptoms 

  • Pain at the inside edge of the tibia (shin bone), aggravated by manual pressure

  • Pain can feel sharp, or dull and aching

  • Pain during or after vigorous activity or exercise

  • Pain during the mornings which can reduce after warming up


The first line of treatment is to stop all physical activities and use icing to reduce the pain and inflammation around the tibia.

Treatments which are available are:

Your podiatrist will further assess your condition and recommend the treatment which you would need to resolve your shin splint.


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