Shin splints is a term frequently used to describe pain below the knee but above the ankle. Shin splints fall into three separate categories: (1) medial tibial stress syndrome (MTSS); (2) compartment syndrome; and (3) peroneal muscle strain.
(1) MTSS – Pain along the inner part of your shin that occurs during physical activity. This pain has often been associated with too much, too soon in regards to exercise such as running.
(2) Compartment syndrome patients will complain of an aching or burning pain during activity. They may also describe numbness or tingling and muscle weakness.
(3) Peroneal Muscle Strain patients will complain of pain along the lateral aspect of the leg (the outer part the shin). They will describe it as tightness or aching.
- Custom made orthotics can reduce the amount of overpronation thus reducing the strain on the soft tissue of the lower leg. An orthotic to reduce the peroneal muscle strain usually needs to be made from softer materials and laterally posted.
- Orthopedic footwear – properly fitted and strong including torsional stability. It is important to have enough support to help reduce pronation forces. Footwear for peroneal muscle strain will need a more neutral cushioned shoe but not too soft laterally.
- Shoe modifications for severe overpronators, a medial buttress can be added; for peroneal muscle strain, more lateral support can be addressed by adding a lateral flare
- Icing the affected area, stretching.