NCTV Episode 63

Continuing with the series of bitesize health tip videos which can be found here on my YouTube Channel, this episode, includes:-

  • Enlightenment on what they are
  • The common causes
  • Things you can do to help
  • What to avoid
  • When to seek help and what help is available


If you’d prefer to read the content within, rather than watch the video, then feel free to read the transcript, as follows:-

Hello and welcome to NCTV Episode 63 which is all about shin splints and what you can do to help them.

So what are shin splints? Well, shin splints, or medial tibial stress syndrome as it’s also known, is a term used to describe symptoms of pain in the front of your lower leg, next to the shin bone, known as the tibia.

Why does it happen? Usually, it occurs when too much stress is put on the tibia or when the muscle next to the tibia is overworked. It most commonly happens from high-energy exercise or sports that involves running and jumping and even dancing, especially if you have poor technique and are doing it on hard surfaces. People also tend to experience it most at the beginning of exercise, particularly if you’re starting it after being inactive for some time and also when suddenly increasing the intensity or duration of a workout. Flat feet, weak ankles, hips or core muscles can also contribute.

Thankfully, shin splints only usually last a few weeks and can often be treated effectively or prevented with an exercise program. People do heal at different rates though and depending on what’s caused them, they can sometimes last between 3 to 6 months.

Aside from taking paracetamol or ibuprofen to ease the pain. Here are some simple things that you can do in your own time to help:-

  • 1) Rest to aid the healing process
  • 2) Putting an ice pack wrapped in a tea towel over the area, for about 10 minutes, 3 or 4 times a day
  • 3) Switch to a more gentle exercise such as yoga or swimming while it’s healing
  • 4) Warm up before exercise and stretch afterwards
  • 5) Make sure your trainers or shoes support your feet properly and maybe even look into orthotics if you do have flat feet
  • And finally 6), keeping yourself at a healthy body weight can reduce the stress put through your legs to prevent them

And on the flip side, some of the things you should avoid doing are:-

  • The exercises that caused the shin splints in the first place
  • And coming back to the same level and intensity of exercise that you were at, too quickly. Build it back up slowly, ideally after two weeks of being pain free and cross train by alternating say jogging with a low impact activity such as swimming or cycling.

If you tried these things and it’s not getting better, or it’s actually getting worse then booking yourself in to see the likes of an osteopath or physio may be necessary to help or even a doctor to check for stress fractures.

So there we have it for today’s bitesize bit to help your health flourish and I’ll see you next time, bye bye.