Posterior shin splints are located on the inside part of the leg at the edge of the shin bone. The tibialis posterior has a role supporting the arch as the body moves over the foot during the running stride. Posterior shin splints in medical terms is known as medial tibial stress syndrome (MTSS).
The tibialis posterior tendon is weakening and in some severe cases the tendon may even rupture. Posterior shin splints can be viewed at as the beginning of posterior tibial tendon dysfunction.
The tendon will get inflamed and have micro-trauma if the forces applied to it are too great. Runners who have high arches and supinate (foot pronation guide) are more likely to develop posterior shin splints. The other reasons for posterior shin splints include overtraining, the wrong type of shoes, hard running surfaces and weaknesses in muscle strength and flexibility.
Posterior shin splints anatomy and symptoms
Posterior shin splint pain is directed in the medial ankle, behind the medial malleolus and along the lower part of the inner shin. Pain is felt to the touch (sometimes very easily) and in more severe cases, swelling can be noticed. The pain can range anywhere from faint and annoying to sharp and debilitating. The condition can worsen rapidly if not treated properly.
At later stages of the injury, bumps can be felt along the shin area and they indicate major inflammation and distortions in the underlying fascia. Initially the pain is generally felt at the start of an activity and disappears over a short period of time. As the shin pain becomes constant and the condition worsens, it could result in stress fractures.
Posterior shin splints can be resilient without proper treatments and rest, but the injury can be best treated following the long list of techniques found in our e-Book.
NOTE: Anterior shin splint injury is located higher in the outside part of the foot.