Shin Splints (MTSS)


Definition & Function

Definition: Shin splints is the common term for MTSS (Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome) and is described as pain along the bottom 2/3 of the inside aspect of the shin bone. It is a result of inflammation of the 'periosteum' (connective tissue).

Function: There are several muscles, gastrocnemius, soleus, and flexor digitorum longus that originate at the shin border and excessive use by all or some of them can cause damage.

Mechanism of Injury

With excessive pronation, certain muscles are in high demand. This overuse of the tendons causes extra stress to the connective tissue at the bone, which is the periosteum.

Signs & Symptoms

  • Aches and pain along the shin bone
  • The area is tender and sore to touch
  • Pain may be felt before, during, or after activity


  • Overuse
  • Sudden increase in distance or intensity of a workout schedule/overtraining
  • Flat feet (the shin muscles are involved in maintaining the instep or arch of the foot. Flat feet can pull at the shin tendons and cause slight tearing
  • Tight calf muscle (Achilles tendon)
  • Weak ankles
  • Increased pronation of the midfoot/poor biomechanics
  • Higher body mass-inadequate footwear for athletic activity
  • High impact activities

Pedorthic Treatments

Custom made Orthotics are a very effective method to reduce your pain. They are able to redistribute and load the foot in a different way in order to decrease stress to the periosteum. Pedorthists use interventions such as medial arch support and deep heel cups to stabilize the foot. Proper footwear is just as important as the orthotic in decreasing your pain. Talk to your Pedorthist about proper footwear choices for you.

Other Treatment

  • Rest
  • Ice
  • Massage therapy for tight calves
  • Compression sleeves
  • Taping tecniques

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