What is Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome
Medial tibial stress syndrome (MTSS) also known as shin splints, is a common overuse injury of the lower extremity. It is characterized by pain and tenderness along the inner (medial) aspect of the shinbone (tibia).
Symptoms of MTSS
Shin pain: The primary symptom of MTSS is pain along the inner edge (inner and lower ⅔ of tibia) of the shinbone, the pain may be sharp or dull and become aggravated by weight-bearing activity.
Swelling: In some cases, swelling may be present along the affected area.
Causes of MTSS
MTSS typically occurs due to repetitive stress and strain on the muscles, tendons, and bone tissue in the lower leg, particularly during activities that involve running, jumping, or other high-impact movements.The exact cause of MTSS is not fully understood, but it is believed to result from a combination of factors, including:
- Overload: Engaging in activities that put excessive stress on the lower leg without allowing adequate rest and recovery time.
- Biomechanical issues: Poor foot mechanics, such as overpronation (excessive inward rolling of the foot), can cause an abnormal distribution of weight on the lower extremity.
- Muscle imbalances: Weakness or tightness in certain muscles of the lower leg, such as the calf muscles, can lead to the abnormal distribution of forces during movement, leading to increased stress on the tibia.
- Training errors: Quickly increasing the intensity or volume of exercise without giving the body enough time to adapt and adjust.
Treatment for MTSS may include:
- Rest and activity modification: Avoiding high-impact activities that aggravate the pain and allowing sufficient time for recovery.
- Ice therapy: Applying ice packs to the affected area to reduce pain and inflammation.
- Stretching and strengthening exercises: We will prescribe specific exercises to improve muscle flexibility, strength, and balance in the lower leg.
- Manual therapy: We may use manual techniques to reduce the muscles tension e.g calf muscles.
- Biomechanical correction: We will prescribe corrective exercises or considering orthotic inserts if necessary.
- Gradual return to activity: We will monitor and provide guidance on how to return to physical activity gradually and progressively.
Our experienced therapists can provide personalised care to help you manage your symptoms.
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