People who walk or run a lot (especially those who may be carrying a little extra weight) may often deal with shin splints. The medical term for shin splints is Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome. It can be a painful ailment that bothers you any time you walk, run or jump. Most times you’ll feel it in the front of your shin along the tibia bone, but the condition can sometimes produce pain throughout the lower leg area.


A shin splint happens when a certain tolerance is exceeded, usually a result of overuse. It occurs because the muscle tendons attached to the tibia become inflamed or damaged from being pushed too hard. If a shin splint is left untreated, it can lead to stress fractures in the bone. Icing is one way to treat the affected area. But sometimes rest is the best medicine, as it allows the inflammation to heal naturally. That can be difficult for people who want to walk or run every day to stay healthy. It’s a kind of catch-22.

CORE Physical Therapy Fullerton, Ca

Physical Therapy to Treat Shin Splints

Physical therapy can also be beneficial for treating shin splints. If you’ve tried rest and ice but the pain just won’t go away, you should see a physical therapist for more advanced treatments. A patient should see a doctor or physical therapist whenever conditions like these persist:

  • If the pain lingers after physical activity

  • If the pain doesn’t subside after 3-4 days of rest and icing

  • If over-the-counter medication does nothing to ease the pain

  • If it is a dull pain that recurs with any physical activity

  • If the lower leg is swollen or bruised


These signs may point to more serious and recurring problems that you will want to get properly diagnosed and treated by someone who can help you reduce inflammation and decrease the pain associated with persistent shin splints.


Shin Splint Prevention

If you are an active person who hasn’t necessarily dealt with shin splints or they aren’t too frequent, just know this condition can develop at any time if you keep pushing yourself physically. The good news is there are some steps you can take to help prevent shin splints from occurring:

  • Wear comfortable, well-padded shoes (especially if you have flat feet)

  • Wear a compression sleeve to keep the lower legs warm

  • Stretch your legs thoroughly before any exercise

  • Take time to stretch throughout the day

  • If you are overweight, try to lose a few pounds to reduce the stress on your legs and hips

  • Try to avoid running on hard surfaces like asphalt and concrete

  • Stop your workout at the first sign of shin pain


CORE Shin Splint Treatment

If you need physical therapy to treat your recurring shin splints, CORE Physical Therapy is here to help. We can get you on a treatment plan that involves muscle stretching, a full gait and footwear analysis, physical activity modification and planning, and stretches/exercises that will increase your range of motion to prevent injuries like shin splints.


At CORE, we want you to stay active and healthy, so we want to help you say “goodbye” to shin splints and other debilitating injuries. Contact us today and let us know how we can help you enjoy a healthier active lifestyle.