Shin Splints – Please Explain!

“Shin Splints” is a term used to describe one of a variety of overuse problems affecting the lower leg.


Shin Splints usually produces an ache along the front or inside surface of the lower leg (see Image 1); while stationary, and with exercise; this pain decreasing with warm up.  As the condition gets worse, it continues with exercise, and aches quite intensely and frequently.

The edges of your tibia (front of your lower leg – see Image 2) with this condition, become painful to touch, painful when using the muscles involved, and can be lumpy and inflamed.


Put simply, shin splints are periostitis (perry-OST-eye-tis), inflammation of the periosteum (skin of the bone) (See image 2). Caused from constant tension or ‘tugging’ on the tibial attachment of the involved muscles that produces irritation and inflammation of the periosteum.

Shin Splints are a chronic injury/condition, which generally means that it has developed slowly and the symptoms are persistent and long lasting (more than 3 months) or constantly recurring over time (remission and flair ups). These are caused from repetitive use, stress, trauma where demands on tissue exceed their ability to recover and heal.

There are two areas of shin splints:

  1. Anterior-lateral (AL) Shin Splints (see Image 3):

This usually results from wearing heavy shoes or poor footwear that lacks support, walking or standing on concrete for long periods, being pregnant (carrying the weight of the baby in the belly – forward stance for balance), walking or running downhill significant distances, running on hard surfaces, being over-weight, increase in exercise too rapidly.


  1. Posterior-Medial (PM) Shin Splints (see Image 4):

This is most commonly caused from having flat feet or feet issues. It can also be caused from running or walking on uneven or hard surfaces, increase in exercise too rapidly, inadequate footwear that lacks support, and wearing high heels regularly.


If left untreated, the sight of inflammation can calcify (permanent pain and restriction), and you are susceptible to stress fractures.


Symptoms of shin splints can be eased with rest, ice and other self-care measures. Wearing proper footwear and modifying your exercise routine can help prevent shin splints from recurring.

Unfortunately, the cause of shin splints – if not properly treated, will continue to affect the patient. Trigger points that have developed in the affecting muscles, need to be removed by massage. The muscles involved need to be treated to take them back to a normal/healthy state, where the relationship between muscle and bone is equal, rather than jarring and uneven.

There are many ‘old wive’s tales’ out there to tell you different ways of treating them, at Revolution we use a collection of techniques that have been taught to us in our certifications, as well as tried, tested and measured, successfully in our clinic.

We often show pictures of either taping or myofascial cupping that we have done to alleviate the shin splints (see Images 5 & 6). This is only some of the techniques, and treatment we use. The process is elaborate, and we have developed it to achieve great results in the quickest time-frame possible.


We suggest that if you are getting lower leg pain in any form, to seek a professional remedial massage as a treatment or assessment. You will not regret it!

If you have any further questions about this issue, do not hesitate to contact us, either via email: or call the clinic on (03) 52322319.