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Cure your Shin Splints

Posted on October 15th, 2019 by Andries Lodder

By Jennifer Steele

Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome, commonly known as shin splints refers to the pain experienced on the front of the shins as a result of exercise. Shin splints are most common among runners and individuals that take part in any high impact sports that involve repeated jumping. Shin splints are caused by repeated loading and stress, being placed on the lower limb while running or jumping.

Here are a few very simple exercises that can be used to help alleviate some of the pain and prevent the shin splints from coming back.


Toe taps seated on Swiss Ball or chair:

  1. Seated on a chair or Swiss ball, place your feet flat on the floor with your ankle directly underneath your knee joint.
  2. Keeping good posture and the rest of your body completely still, lift the toes and ball of the foot off the floor or as high as you can.
  3. Keep the heel on the floor the entire time
  4. Repeat this exercise as follows:
    1. 10 double leg toe lifts, slow
    2. 20 double leg toe lifts, fast
    3. repeat x 3
    4. You can also perform this exercise on one leg at a time

Heel and toe walking:

  1. Rise up as high as you can onto the ball of your foot
  2. Then keeping your heels this high off the floor, knees straight and ensuring your ankles do not collapse, take a step forward.
  3. Repeat this for 20-50 steps, and for 3 sets
  4. One you have mastered this you can add moderate weights into each hand to progress the exercise.
  5. This exercise should then be repeated on the heels, lifting the toes as high off the floor as possible and walking on the heels with straight knees

Towel scrunches:

  1. For this exercise you will need to be bare foot.
  2. Seated on a chair or Swiss ball, place your feet flat on the floor with your ankle directly underneath your knee joint.
  3. Place a towel underneath your feet.
  4. Using just your towel and keeping the heels and feet as flat on the floor as possible, scrunch the towel up and towards you.
  5. Do 5 complete towel scrunches 3 times.
  6. The towel does not have to be completely flat and can have ridges in it.
  7. To progress this exercise place a light weight on the far end of the towel to making the towel heavier to pull.


Standing calf stretch

  1. Standing with one leg forward and bent and the other straight out behind you
  2. Keep the feet straight forward and the both heels pushed into the ground
  3. Bent forward to stretch the Gastrocnemius muscle of the calf of the back leg
  4. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds
  5. Then bend the back knee and sit back into the back leg to stretch the Soleus muscle of the calf
  6. Hold this for 30 seconds
  7. Repeat this twice per leg

Shin splints can be cause by numberous things; tight calf muslces, weak shin muscles such as Tibialis anterior, poor running biomechanics, inappropriate footwear, pronation of the feet, etc. Depending on the cause behind the problem there will be different avenues to follow when it comes the exercise treatment. Therefore these are very generic simple exercises that can assist with the problem. However, it is advised that if you are experiencing severe pain to get an individualized exercise program that will target your specific cause.

To book an assessment and get your personalized rehab program contact us here.


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