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Shin Splints

Washington Foot & Ankle Sports Medicine

Podiatry & Sports Medicine Physicians located in Kirkland, WA

Shin splints present as pain to the lower leg most commonly on the inside leg bone called the tibia.  They can be very painful, and occur most commonly in high school athletes following overload to the legs.  The overload is commonly related to either biomechanical issues, and/or occur following training errors.  We have an approach that addresses the mechanical issues, the training issues, and cures the painful condition without prolonged periods of rest.  We have a process that gets rid of shin splints and keeps them gone.

Shin Splints Q&A


What are Shin Splints?

Shin splints occur when overload to the posterior muscle group creates a separation between the fascia and the bone. Fluid gets between the fascial layer and the bone and causes pain. This most commonly happens on the backside of the inside shin bone.


How do I get shin splints?

Overload to the fascia of the leg can happen because of overpronation accompanied by increased weight bearing exercise. Overload can also happen in situations where the workload significantly increases suddenly, and is commonly seen when young athletes start a new endurance sport.


How can I tell if I have shin splints?

Shin splints hurt most commonly along the inside leg bone during and after weight bearing exercise. There is no associated swelling, and they can sometimes feel better after a warm up period during exercise.


What is the treatment for shin splints?

The classic treatment for shin splints was prolonged rest, ice, anti-inflammatories, compression, orthotic therapy (to reduce strain on the posterior muscle group) and stretching.  Success rates with the traditional therapy were very low because of the prolonged period of rest. 

Shockwave therapy, along with a correction to the biomechanics has proven to be extremely effective for shin splints. Some athletes see improvement after only one session and after three sessions, 90% see significant improvement or complete alleviation of pain and symptoms. This success rate is accomplished with no rest period!  The athlete attends 3 sessions and is allowed to continue participating in athletics.