Treating shin splints with dry needling

Shin splints is a painful condition that occurs at the front of your shins, either on the inner side, outer side, or both. In its early phases, it presents as muscle tension, weakness, fatigue and overuse due to several factors such as increased exercise, poor foot biomechanics and poor knee, hip and core strength and control. If shin splints is not managed properly in the initial phases, it can then lead to bone stress injuries and then stress fractures, which results in prolonged time away from exercise. Shin splints is commonly seen in adolescents due to the effects of overtraining and muscles not coping with a growing body, but it can also affect people of any age with any of the risk factors outlined above. Whilst it is a painful and debilitating condition, thankfully there are several ways to help treat shin splints.

Dry needling is an effective treatment technique for shin splints. Dry needling helps to reduce muscle tension and associated inflammation. The needles are inserted into the tight muscles either side of the shin bone, and will also usually be inserted into the calf muscle as this is commonly affected with shin splints. Most patients will require 4-5 appointments with dry needling included as part of the treatment to determine the effect of dry needling on their symptoms. Dry needling forms an important part of physiotherapy management of shin splints in conjunction with soft tissue massage, blading, joint mobilisations, therapeutic ultrasound, stretching, strengthening, taping, foot supports, load management and advice and education.

If you are interested in seeing one of our physiotherapists for dry needling of your shin splints, get in touch today!

3 - Treating shin splints with dry needling

Joni Levine

Joni is a titled APA Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist

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