Also known as or related to shin splints, anterior shin splints, front of shin pain, sore muscle at front of shin, tibialis anterior overuse, tibialis anterior strain.
Patients describe pain or cramping at the front of the shin. The cramping or tightening is from the small thin muscle the runs down the front of the shin tightening and cramping up. There can also be pain felt where this muscle attaches along the front of the shin bone, within the muscle itself or the tendon the runs down and over the front of the ankle to the top of the foot.
The pain might be felt the next day after a run and it can intensify to a point where the pain is felt towards the end of a run. Some people experience the pain very quickly within a few steps of running as the muscle and tendon is so inflamed or injured.
The Tibialis Anterior muscle attaches to the front of the shin bone and turns into a tendon above the ankle. This tendon crosses the front of the ankle and inserts into the top and inside part of the foot. The main job of this muscle and tendon is to lift your foot upwards when you walk or run to stop you tripping over your foot. It also plays a role in stopping your foot from rolling inwards too much.
This muscle and tendon can become over worked and this produces the soreness, cramping or pains through the front of the shin. There are a number of reasons why this muscle works harder for some people than others.
2. Stiff ankles joints
3. Tight calves/achilles
4. Foot rolling inwards too much
The key to long term solutions of this problem is to get to the root causes mentioned above.
1. Over-striding during fast walking or running is solved by addressing any anatomical issues that prevent normal gait and modifying run technique with specific tips and drills.
2. Stiff ankle issues can be solved with appropriate height under the heel and mobilization techniques.
3. Tight calves are released with physical therapies and heel height also resolves this issue.
4. Supporting the foot with correct footwear, orthotics or tape is helpful.
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