Shin Splints: How a Sports Podiatrist Can Help

As athletes and fitness enthusiasts, we push our bodies to achieve new goals and excel in our chosen sports. However, this increased physical activity can sometimes lead to common overuse injuries like shin splints. Shin splints, also known as medial tibial stress syndrome, can cause significant discomfort and hinder athletic performance. If you’re experiencing pain in your shins during or after exercise, it’s essential to understand what causes shin splints and how a sports podiatrist can provide specialized care and assistance. In this blog, Dr Bilal Khelladi from the Bankstown Podiatry and Injury Clinic offers valuable insights into shin splints, highlighting the role of a sports podiatrist in managing and preventing this condition.

What are Shin Splints?

Shin splints are a painful condition characterized by inflammation and microtears in the muscles and tendons surrounding the shinbone (tibia). This injury often occurs due to repetitive stress on the shinbone and the connective tissues. At the Bankstown Podiatry and Injury Clinic, we’ve commonly noticed this issue amongst runners, dancers, and athletes engaged in activities that involve running or jumping.

Causes of Shin Splints

Several factors contribute to the development of shin splints:

  1. Overuse or High-Impact Activities: Engaging in activities with repetitive motions, such as running on hard surfaces or excessive jumping, can strain the muscles and tendons in the lower leg, leading to shin splints.
  2. Inadequate Footwear: Wearing worn-out or improper footwear that lacks sufficient cushioning and support can increase the risk of shin splints.
  3. Training Errors: Sudden increases in exercise intensity, duration, or frequency without allowing adequate rest can overload the lower leg, leading to shin splints.
  4. Muscle Weakness and Imbalances: Weakness in certain leg muscles or imbalances between muscle groups can place additional stress on the shinbone and its surrounding tissues.
  5. Biomechanical Issues: Abnormal foot mechanics, such as overpronation (excessive inward rolling of the foot) or supination (inward rolling), can contribute to the development of shin splints.

Recognising the Symptoms

Shin splints are characterized by the following symptoms:

  1. Pain along the Inner Edge of the Shinbone: The pain is often described as a dull, aching sensation and can be felt during exercise or activities involving the lower legs.
  2. Tenderness and Swelling: The affected area may feel tender to the touch, and mild swelling might be present.
  3. Pain After Exercise: The pain may worsen after physical activity and subside with rest.

How a Sports Podiatrist Can Help

Sports podiatrists such as Dr Bilal Khelladi at the Bankstown Podiatry and Injury Clinic, are healthcare professionals who focus on diagnosing, treating, and preventing lower limb and foot-related conditions in athletes and active individuals. When it comes to managing shin splints, a sports podiatrist plays a crucial role in providing comprehensive care. Here’s how we can help:

  1. Accurate Diagnosis: A sports podiatrist will conduct a thorough evaluation, including a detailed medical history, physical examination, and gait analysis, to accurately diagnose shin splints and identify any underlying biomechanical issues.
  2. Custom Orthotics: Based on the assessment, a we may prescribe custom orthotic devices that are specifically designed to address any foot abnormalities and provide better support and alignment, reducing the strain on the shinbone.
  3. Footwear Recommendations: Proper footwear is essential in preventing and managing shin splints. A sports podiatrist can recommend the right type of athletic shoes that provide adequate cushioning and support for the individual’s foot type and activity level.
  4. Biomechanical Corrections: Dr Bilal Khelladi provides expert biomechanical assessments that can identify and address biomechanical issues such as overpronation or supination through various interventions, including exercises, stretches, and shoe modifications.
  5. Training and Technique Advice: A sports podiatrist can offer valuable advice on proper training techniques and exercises to help prevent shin splints and reduce the risk of recurrence.
  6. Rehabilitation and Recovery: For individuals already experiencing shin splints, a sports podiatrist can design a tailored rehabilitation program to aid in recovery and prevent future injuries.
  7. Injury Prevention Strategies: Beyond addressing the current condition, we focus on preventing future injuries by implementing strategies to optimize foot and lower limb function during physical activities.

Preventing Shin Splints

Preventing shin splints is essential for athletes and active individuals. Here are some tips to minimise the risk of developing this painful condition:

  1. Gradual Progression: Avoid sudden increases in exercise intensity or duration. Gradually build up your training regimen to allow your body to adapt to the workload.
  2. Proper Footwear: Invest in quality athletic shoes that offer adequate cushioning and support for your foot type and chosen activity.
  3. Stretching and Strengthening: Incorporate calf stretches and lower leg strengthening exercises into your routine to maintain good muscle balance.
  4. Cross-Training: Mix up your activities to reduce the repetitive stress on the lower legs. Consider incorporating low-impact exercises like swimming or cycling.
  5. Warm-Up and Cool-Down: Always warm up before exercise and cool down afterward. This helps prepare your muscles for activity and aids in recovery.
  6. Listen to Your Body: Pay attention to any early signs of discomfort or pain. If you experience shin pain, take a break from high-impact activities and rest.


Shin splints can be a frustrating setback for athletes and fitness enthusiasts, but with the help of a sports podiatrist, you can effectively manage and prevent this condition. By addressing biomechanical issues, providing custom orthotics, and offering expert advice, sports podiatrists such as Dr Bilal Khelladi, play a vital role in optimising foot and lower limb function. If you’re experiencing shin pain or want to prevent future injuries, consult with the experienced sports podiatrists Dr Bilal Khelladi at the Bankstown Podiatry and Injury Clinic. Don’t let shin splints hold you back from pursuing your athletic goals and maintaining an active lifestyle. With specialised care and support, you can stay on track and enjoy the activities you love, pain-free.

Disclaimer: This blog is for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice. If you are experiencing shin pain or have any concerns about your foot health, please consult a qualified sports podiatrist.

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