What is it
Shins Splints is an umbrella term used to describe a range of leg injuries. The most common leg injury that Shin Splints is used to describe is Tibial Stress Syndrome. The leg can be divided into 3 compartments Anterior (front), Lateral (outside) and posterior (back). The muscles in each of these compartments can be strained due to over use and pull at their attachment site in the leg causing pain and inflammation.
Cause
The cause of injury depends on the role of the muscle group. The most commonly injured muscle is tibialis posterior a muscle situated in the posterior compartment. The role of tibialis posterior is to supinate (roll out) the foot. It is most commonly injured in people with flat feet, excessively pronate, have an occupation that requires standing for long periods of time and in long distance runners. As the foot pronates (rolls in) to absorb shock the tibialis posterior works to resupinate (roll out) the foot. If the muscle is over worked the constant tension at the attachment site in the leg results in inflammation causing pain.
How Orthotics will help
Orthotics will bring the ground up the foot thereby controlling the amount of pronation that is allowed to occur. This in turn will reduce the amount of work that tibialis posterior has to do which will give body a chance to heal itself. Wearing orthotics can also help to prevent tibial stress syndrome from occuring.