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Shin Pain Physiotherapy Singapore

Most of the time, shin pain happens because of chronic overuse (overuse injury), that is the long term and slow overloading of your

  • shin bone
  • muscles in the shin
  • tendons in the shin

Common Sources of Shin Pain

Shin pain or shin injuries are common painful complaints of runners, marathoners and any sporty individuals who need to run or sprint in their sports, such as

  • football / soccer
  • rugby
  • marathon / biathlons

Most of the time, shin pain is the result of shin splints.

Shin Splints

Shin splints main characteristic is pain in the lower leg either at the front or the side, near the shin. They are caused my small micro-tears or micro-trauma of the leg muscles near the shin bone or the injury to the shin bone (tibia) itself, such as periosteal injuries.

It's common in people who run, sprint or walk a lot.

Symptoms of shin splints include

  • tightness
  • tenderness with pressure or touch of the edge of the shin bone
  • throbbing, aching pain of the shin during and after activities

Symptoms typically ease, improve and disappear with rest and return rapidly with the activity again.

There are 2 main types of shin splints:

  • anterior (frontal) shin splints and
  • posterior (back) shin splints

Stress Fractures

When left undiagnosed and untreated, shin splints will worsen to stress fractures, which definitely will affect your ability to

  • stand
  • walk about
  • not to mention running, jumping or being active in sports

Patients who have stress fractures will be required to rest for at least 6 weeks (1.5 months) at bare minimum, and longer if it's reinjured or chronic. 

Compartment Syndrome

The acute form of compartment syndrome is CECS (chronic exertional compartment syndrome) is a condition where there is increased pressure in a tight space which presses upon and compromises the health, circulation and function of the soft tissues involved.

In the case of acute compartment syndrome, it is a surgical EMERGENCY because it's a rush to prevent tissue from dying or death. When it's mild, chronic compartment syndrome can be reversed with professional medical and physiotherapy management.

Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS)

DOMS is another form of overuse injury that can affect your shin muscles, but the good thing is that DOMS is usually mild and will recover.

The most common cause of shin pain that we see in our physio clinics is shin pain from running or jumping related sports.

What usually happens is the shin pain is caused by too much change in the training loads (speed, distance or time) 

Some examples of too much too fast overload

  1. Going from 0 KM sedentary to 10 KM or from 10 KM to 43 KM
  2. Going from 2 hours+ but pushing to below 1.5 hours

Of course, not only runners get shin pain -- any sports or activities where there is running or foot landing can overload the shin and cause shin pain, such as

  • golf (yes, even if it's "slow", but it can take a lot of time)
  • basketball
  • netball
  • gymnastics

Additionally, the muscle behind the calf is also at risk of injury such as 

  • calf muscle strain / calf muscle tear
  • Achilles tendinopathy

You may also experience numbness, shooting pain, tingling or pain in your shin from sciatica or lower back injuries.

Shin Pain Treatment

We have a number of experienced and skilled physiotherapists with special interest in shin pain, knee and joint injuries. Most of the time, unfortunately, patients with shin pain typically see a doctor and then get sent home with either advice to rest or painkillers.

That's...okay, but not good enough to us. 

To recover fully AND prevent shin pain from getting worse or coming back, we need to deep-dive analyze why your shin is painful rather than just treating the shin pain. Yes, treat the shin pain, bring pain relief to the shin is good, but we need to find out

  • what caused that shin pain in the first place
  • are you predisposed to shin injuries and pain

Because if we or you dont find out WHY, it's just a matter of time before your shin pain comes back or worse, becomes something worse (think chronic pain that there 24/7 or needing surgical correction).

How we will do it is to assess your knee, your ankle, your back, how you walk, your habits, your hobbies, the lower limb that's injured and painful etc, and then personalize a shin physiotherapy to get your pain-free rapidly to go back to your sports and life in the shortest time possible.

some shin pain physiotherapy treatments

Some of the treatments that we will also provide during the shin physio sessions:

  1. Soft tissue management
  2. Cold therapy / Heat therapy
  3. Stretch therapy
  4. Strengthening
  5. Ultrasound therapy
  6. Shockwave therapy
  7. Mobilization of joints and tissues
  8. Dry needling
  9. Deep tissue release / massage treatment