Shin splints is also known as Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome. The outer layer of a bone is called the periosteum and tendons attached to it. In shin splints the periosteum is pulled away from the bone due to the force placed on it by the tibialis posterior.
· Pain at the start of running
· Increased pain after running
· Pain on waking in the morning when weight bearing
· Tenderness on the inside of the shin, both muscle and bone
The tibialis posterior, tibialis anterior, and muscles in the arch of the feet help create the arch of the foot. In shin splints the foot rolls inwards as it comes in contact with the ground placing excessive force on these structures, primarily through the tibialis posterior. This increased tension pulls the periosteum away from the rest of the bone. Orthotic insoles help by supporting the arch of the foot preventing it from collapsing, and reducing the tension on the tibialis posterior.
Studies have shown that over-the-counter orthotic insoles may be suitable for shin splints. However, the degree of the deformity in the foot may warrant a more supportive custom made orthotic.