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What are shin splints?
Around the Academy:

Shin splints
Shin splints are a common problem in the lower leg for athletes who change from one playing surface to another between seasons.


Who?
Common in young sportstars who play too much sport.

England bowler James Kirtley suffered from it during the summer and many footballers such as Andrew Cole have been temporarily laid off with it.

How?
It is an injury that can be caused in several ways.

The muscles at the front of the leg get injured or inflamed.

This can stem from playing too much sport on hard surfaces.

Or because of a weakness in the leg muscles, your running technique or even whether you have flat feet or high arches.

What?
Tenderness in tibia (shin) area.

The affected muscles in the tibia also help maintain the arch of the foot which means there may also be pain when the toes or ankle is bent.

The pain stops when resting, but the injury will often remain unless the above causes are treated.

Treatment?
Rest will help to relieve the injury, but does not neccessarily cure it.

Physiotherapists may ensure you are wearing proper footwear, tape your shins or even recommend a leg brace.

Cooling the injury in acute stages and then applying heat may also help.

Building up your muscles around your ankles will help to support those leg muscles causing the pain.

And getting yourself some proper cushioned footwear will help to soften the impact when your feet hit the ground when running.

Changing the way you run may also need to be considered. Having a smoother stride will again mean that the impact is spread more evenly throughout your feet and legs.

Return?
Can vary hugely but usually between two to four months. Do not start training until pain and tenderness in tibia has gone.





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