Speeding Up Recovery from Shin Splints with Sports Physiotherapy

Ever been sidelined by the dreaded shin splints? If you’ve felt that sharp, nagging pain along your shinbone during or after exercise, you’re not alone. Shin splints are a common issue for athletes, runners, and fitness enthusiasts alike. The good news? Sports physiotherapy Edmonton offers a range of effective treatments and prevention strategies to aid your recovery on your feet and stay there. Whether you’re an experienced athlete or simply enjoy sports on weekends, understanding how to treat and prevent shin splints can make all the difference in your performance and overall well-being. 

What is Shin Splint?

It is medically called medial tibial stress syndrome and involves discomfort along the inner edge of the shinbone (tibia), often due to overuse or repetitive strain on the shinbone and the tissues around it. Commonly affecting athletes, particularly runners and those engaged in high-impact sports, shin splints result from factors such as improper footwear, inadequate warm-up, sudden increases in training intensity, or biomechanical issues like flat feet. 

Symptoms typically include a sharp or throbbing pain during or after physical activity, tenderness along the inner shin, and mild swelling. This condition can significantly impact a person’s life by limiting their capacity to participate in sports, causing discomfort during daily activities, and potentially leading to more serious injuries if not properly addressed.

How Can Sports Physiotherapy Speed Up Recovery from Shin Splints?

Recovering from shin splints can be a challenging process, especially for athletes eager to return to their sport. Sports physiotherapy in Edmonton offers a structured and effective approach to expedite recovery, minimize pain, and prevent recurrence. Here’s how sports injury physiotherapy can speed up the recovery process from shin splints:

Comprehensive Assessment:

The first step in speeding up recovery is a thorough assessment by a sports physiotherapist. This involves identifying the severity of the condition, understanding the athlete’s training regimen, and pinpointing any biomechanical issues.

Pain Management Techniques

Managing pain effectively is crucial in the early stages of recovery. Sports physiotherapists use a range of techniques to reduce pain and inflammation, including:


Electrotherapy modalities such as TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation) and shockwave therapy are used to alleviate pain and promote healing.

  • TENS: It employs low-voltage electrical currents for stimulation of nerves and minimize pain. TENS can block pain signals and increase the release of endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers.
  • Shockwave therapy: Also called (ESWT) Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy, it is a non-invasive treatment utilizing high-energy sound waves to reduce pain by breaking down scar tissue and calcifications, enhance healing by increasing blood flow, and offers a safe, surgery-free option.
  • Dry needling: It treats myofascial pain and trigger points in shin splints by inserting thin needles into specific muscle points, releasing tight muscle bands and knots to reduce tension and pain, and maximizing blood flow to promote healing and reduce inflammation.

Manual Therapy

Manual therapy involves hands-on techniques to improve flexibility, reduce muscle tension, and enhance blood flow. This can include:

Deep Tissue Massage: 

It uses sustained pressure and slow, deep strokes to relieve muscle tension, break down adhesions, improve blood flow, and induce relaxation in the muscles surrounding the shinbone.

Myofascial Release

Myofascial release applies gentle, sustained pressure to alleviate pain, release tight fascia, and restore motion, improving flexibility and reducing discomfort in the shin area.

Joint Mobilization

Joint mobilization involves passive movements within the range of motion to increase joint flexibility, reduce stiffness, and restore normal joint mechanics, alleviating stress on the shin.

Targeted Exercise Programs

A customized exercise program is essential for strengthening the muscles and improving flexibility, which aids in quicker recovery and prevents future injuries. This program typically includes:

Stretching Exercises

Stretching exercises for shin splints focus on the calf muscles, Achilles tendon, and other related muscle groups to improve flexibility and reduce tension. Key exercises include:

  • Calf Stretch: Position yourself facing a wall with one foot positioned forward and the other back, pressing the back heel into the ground to stretch the calf.
  • Achilles Tendon Stretch: Stand with the front part of one foot positioned on the edge of a step, gently lowering the heel to stretch the Achilles tendon.

Strengthening Exercises

Strengthening exercises for shin splints target the lower leg muscles, particularly the tibialis anterior and posterior, to support the shinbone and distribute stress more evenly. Key exercises include:

  • Tibialis Anterior Raises: Sit on a chair with feet grounded on the floor, raise your toes and forefoot up towards the shins, and then lower back down.
  • Resistance Band Exercises: Use a resistance band around the foot to perform dorsiflexion (pulling the toes up towards the shin) and plantarflexion (pointing the toes downward) to strengthen the tibialis anterior and posterior muscles.

Biomechanical Correction

Correcting biomechanical issues is vital for long-term recovery and injury prevention of shin splints. This may involve:

Gait Analysis and Retraining: 

This involves assessing and correcting running or walking techniques to reduce stress on the shins. Sports physiotherapists use video analysis and pressure mapping to identify abnormal movement patterns. By making adjustments to stride length, foot strike, and posture, athletes can minimize the impact on their shins, promoting better alignment and reducing the risk of shin splints.


It provides custom-made shoe inserts designed to correct foot alignment and offer better support. These inserts address issues such as overpronation or flat feet, which can contribute to shin splints. 

Say Goodbye to Shin Splints: Start Your Recovery Journey Today:

Sports physiotherapy in Edmonton offers a comprehensive and effective approach to managing and recovering from shin splints. Family physiotherapy Edmonton helps athletes achieve quicker recovery and enhanced performance and minimizes the risk of future injuries by tackling the root causes of shin splints through individualized treatment plans, ensuring long-term benefits and optimal athletic performance.

Contact our experienced sports physiotherapists today to schedule a consultation and start your personalized recovery plan. Let us help you get back on track, stronger and pain-free.

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