Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome
Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome is the medical name for what many refer to as shin splints. Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome is where the periosteum (connective tissue covering many bones) becomes inflamed.
Pain is usually encountered on the inside (medial) border of the shin bone and can often feel like a dull ache and some times hard to pin point exactly where the pain is coming from.
A key difference between Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome and a Tibial Stress Fracture is the size of the area causing pain. Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome will give rise to a painful area about 5-10cm where as Tibial Stress Fracture will present with a very small pin point area, usually no larger than 1-2cm.
The muscle of the lower leg that pulls your feet upwards (dorsiflexion) is a relatively small muscle compared to the muscles it works against that pull your foot down (plantaflexion). Those massive muscles of your calf verses the little muscle that you may not have even known you had at the front of your lower leg. This means that those who have over tight calf muscles or over pronate are at higher risk of over loading this small shin muscle (Tibialis anterior & Tibialis posterior).
What to do
- Pain on the front inside edge of the shin bone (Tibia)
- Inflammation along the shin bone
- Pain and discomfort during activity that increase when walking or running uphill
- Difficulty lifting foot upwards (dorsiflexion)
- Painful to touch on the inside of shin bone
- Painful area of between 5 - 10cm
What to do
- In the first instance stop the activity that is causing the pain
- Apply POLICE procedure
- Ice and compression will help in the earlier stages
- To really get to the bottom of the cause a full assessment by a Sports Therapist is necessary
- You can start by addressing the most likely causes such as over tight calf muscle, here a foam roller is your new best friend!