Shin splints muscular


There are two types of muscular shin splints and they are quite different problems.


Shin splints- Tibialis posterior


Inflammation of the muscle attachments and interosseous  membranes to the tibia (shin bone) on the inside of the front of the lower leg. The most common form are posterior shin splints affecting the inner part of the lower leg at the insertion of a major decelerator muscle of the foot, namely tibialis posterior. Pain is felt on palpation (touching) or when walking/running approximately half way up the inner shin. Pain is only felt in the the muscular region right next to the tibia (shin bone) and not when touching the bone itself. Read more->

Shin splints- tibilais anterior

Most textbooks only describe the above problem but podiatric practitioners dealing with lower limb musculo skeletal disorders regularly come across patients with similar symptoms but affecting the outside part of the lower leg. These are known as anterior shin splints and are almost as common as the posterior shin splints. These are caused by inflammation of the insertion of the  second decelerator of the foot, namely tibialis anterior. Like posterior shin splints pain is felt on palpation (touching) and when walking/running but crucially pain is felt on the other side of the shin bone (on the outer part of the leg). Again pain will not be felt when touching the bone itself. Read more->


Pain is most severe at the start of a run, but may disappear during a run, as the muscles loosen up. This is different to a stress fracture, where there is pain during weight bearing activities (walking, stair-climbing).

Beginner runners are more susceptible to this problem for a variety of reasons, but most commonly due to the fact that the leg muscles have not been stressed in such a way before they started running.

Shin splints are almost always caused by improper biomechanics made worse in runners due to the excessive biomechanical forces placed on the major decelerator muscles (tibialis anterior and tibialis posterior) in the lower leg. These muscles effectively slow the foot down during the contact phase of gait (when the foot hits the ground). Athletes who have compensatory pronatory forces affecting their mechanics during this phase are most susceptible to this form of injury.