The Top 7 exercises for Shin Splints

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The Top 7 exercises for Shin Splints

Here at Compass Physio across our sites in Enfield, Castlecomer and Tullyallen we see a lot of shin splints.

Shin splints is an overall umbrella term used when describing pain felt along the inside of the tibia (shin bone).

The term shin splints can encompass several different diagnosis which can include

  • Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome
  • Medial Tibial Stress Fracture
  • Chronic Exertional Compartment Syndrome

How does it present?

Shin splints often presents as a ache along the inside of the shin bone.

This can become more localised and appears in the early stages when exercise starts. In can then ease after a period of time.

As the condition progresses the pain can limit a person’s ability to exercise and can lead to symptoms that are present even with just walking about.

Quite often there are factors that can contribute to it that become apparent when we take our subjective history.

These can include

  • Increase in training load
  • Change in footwear
  • Change of training surface
  • Reduced lower limb control
  • Altered foot position
  • Weakness at glute/hip region


  • Detailed history of the presenting condition by your chartered physiotherapist
  • Palpation of the affected area
  • Imaging that can include Ultrasound (not always necessary)


  • Stretching calf muscles
  • Dry Needling
  • Strengthening lower limb and foot muscles
  • Deep Tissue Massage
  • Taping which can include Kinesio Taping
  • Review of Footwear
  • Review of bio mechanics when moving/running
  • Assessment of joints above and below
  • Orthotics

Common Exercises that we use at Compass Physio to treat Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome are

  • Step ups

The use of a simple step. Pushing down through the foot that is on the step and not driving through the back leg as you step up. 3 sets of 12 -15 reps

  • Soleus Calf raises

Knee is flexed at circa 30 degrees as you do a calf raise 3 sets of 15-20 reps

  • Single leg bridge with soleus bias

Laying on your back with the sole of your foot on a step/bench. Knee is flexed to 90 degrees. Raise hips. 3 sets of 12 reps

  • Straight leg calf raises

Standard calf raises with a 2-1-2 tempo. 2 x 20 reps

  • Glute Strengthening

Variations of laying or standing PGM exercises

  • Foam Rolling calf

2 x 1 minute focusing on any tight areas in the calf

  • Plantar fascia release

Use of a golf ball on the sole of the foot to help release the tension at the sole of the foot. 2 x 1 minute

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To find out how Compass Physio can help, call 0419847545 (this number covers all clinics), click here to book online or download our free information booklet. You can also email any questions to

Paddy Mulligan MISCP
Chartered Physiotherapist
Compass Physio