YOUR SHINS, FORGIVEN
New moves to beat the scourge of shin splints
MEDIAL TIBIAL stress syndrome (MTSS), better known as shin splints, has long been the curse of the recreational runner. It’s often put down to tight calf muscles, but a new study1 shines a light on two new suspects: the tibialis posterior (a stabiliser) and the flexor digitorum longus, a muscle that helps plantarflex the ankle (pointing the foot downwards) and curl the toes. Researchers assessed stiffness in eight lower-leg muscle groups in runners who had suffered from shin splints and those who had not. They found higher levels of stiffness in these two muscles among MTSS sufferers. They conclude that ‘stretching these muscles may play an important role in preventing the condition’. Try the stretches below to guard your shins against injury.