Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome....anyone else trying to recover from this.?

Help and advice needed please.....

I am at the end of my tether. I ran through injury last the point of limping. Tried not running for a bit and got back to it and although a little better it did not go. Physio thought Compartment Syndrome. Finally saw a Consultant had MRI scan to see whether a stress fracture or not....he diagnosed Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome/shin splints. No running for 8 weeks....Shin felt good. So then started back to it 30 secs run/30secs walk......increased slowly. At 5mins running tenderness returned. Left running for another month. Started back with the 30secs run/walk and leg behaved. A little tenderness on the odd occasion but an extra day rest and all good. Running on grass or treadmill only. Now managed to get to 6min run and 1 min walk.....a couple of runs in and the tenderness is back. I ran Saturday but then left it til the tenderness and nearly gone before running today....unfortunately after the run it is slightly worse. I am at the end of my tether...going to not run for a week and see how it feels. I wear a compression sock and have had orthotics made which I feel have helped. I also do triathlons so the swimming and cycling are helping me maintain fitness but I need to sort this running out.

I am hoping that someone has had it and has recovered and back to running successfully again.....looking for that silver lining.  I have googled yet again and scared myself I won't be doing that again.

Any advice woud be really appreciated......


  • Hi Saffers

    I could have written your post but thrown in a full stress fracture.

    Returning to running caused the pain after following the beginners schedule, doing 2 mins of running x 10 image

    I fell into a pattern of resting....returning....resting....returning and basically achieving zip whilst becoming massively frustrated.

    I found that massaging the shin with ibuleve gel after each run helped. When it was very bad I missed a run but returned to the next and stuck at the same level of the beginners schedule for weeks until the  pain eased.  My theory was that no running meant I suffered when I returned because it was unaccustomed  ........but increasing the running caused it as well. So I managed it by maintaining a level of running but not increasing.

    It took ages to settle but did

    ...and then I did a lovely coastal 4 mile run and woke up with achilles issues which I still have image

  • Not much help really


    Basically, massage with ice and ibuleve gel, keep gentle low level running going until it settles

  • Thanks Madge.......I shall do just that.  At the moment  I am going to leave the running until there is no tenderness and then do the 6min run/1walk and stick with that if okay.  Just feeling a bit desperate at the moment after having a year of pulling out of races.....I just don't want it to be the same next year.

    Sorry to hear that you have achillies issues now. image  Are you still able to get out and run?

  • im prob in a similar situation. Fair bit of tenderness of the outer side of the shin.

    Have found that dry-needling helps. Should be going to see physio in a few days also.

    Had tib sf earlier this year, so unsure if this is stemming from this, or from doing lots of cycling, or easing myself back into running after 4 months off.....

  • Hi Nick

    Sorry to hear that you are still having's so frustrating when you have taken time out and feel you are taking it easy getting back into it.

    I am trying to stay positive but struggling and looking at all avenues......desperate springs to mind.image

    I hope you have some good input from your physio.

  • i will let you know saffers. Yeah it is frustrating, but hey ho....

    physio did mention electro accupuncture (she doesnt feel happy about me needling myself) might have a natter about that.

  • Have you looked at Pose or Chi Running? Or shorten your stride? I understand over striding can cause shin splints, from what I've read on the forum.
  • If I shorten my stride any more I will be tripping over my legs.

    I did have a neurological problem in my 'problem' leg, that caused quite a bit of muscle loss, and I know it isnt as strong as my other as I have tested doing single legged squats. Quite a bit of difference (15kg) between the two.

  • did you get on at the physio!?
  • I dont know if its an urban myth or an old wives tale but I have heard that 'foot tapping' can help with strengthening the muscles around the shins ...
    Whenever you find yourself sat down ... tap the toes, you soon feel a different muscle group working

    It cant do any harm to try

    As a long term sufferer of all things achilles I can sympathise with you
  • Anything is worth a try.  I am writing the alphabet with my toes so a bit of foot tapping won't do any harm.  I now have a list of things to have a go at.......I have been googling gait analysis and biomechanics but a friend thinks I would be just wasting my money....but I am desperate!image
  • I am not sure a gait analysis would be that good whilst you still have issues .... a good physio or chiro may unearth the root of the problem which may be biomechanics

    You can feel the muscles working if you tap your feet incidentally so it must do something,  I used it for a while to strengthen calf muscles

  • Thanks Meldy.....foot tapping as I type and can definitely feel those muscles.  Lost faith in my physio who miss diagnosed originally so looking for another at the moment.  Still seeing the Consultant who just says that it will heal and to just keep behaving and get back to running slowly.......but I am now impatient.
  • The Consultant is probably right but you may need to address what causes this in the first place ....
  • Yes, not quite sure what caused it initially.......upping mileage and speedwork no doubt!  I just need to find a way to run that will keep it at bay.
  • How familiar your post sounds! I also have MTSS, left off for 6 weeks having got to the point where it was so painful I had to stop. Gradually after those very long 6 weeks got back into it with a walk/run programme, but slowly they returned. Not as bad in the right leg, but I now have it in both shins instead! Hey ho! I was advised to use orthotics because I overpronate, which I do, and I have gone back to my original trainers which I didn't seem to have problems with, but it doesn't appear to be helping. I have also shortened my stride but also slowed down significantly (honestly, I am now so slow it's ridiculous). I'm not sure that anything I have tried so far has helped - I feel as though I'm running on eggshells, and I'm just waiting for the pain to return to the point where I have to stop again. If I do stop again, I will stop for at least 12 weeks and see if the rest helps. Obviously, I'm not going to do that until I REALLY have to!!!!!!!
  • Hey Shantel , how long have you been suffering for?  I am still trying to keep my positive head on and I KNOW they will go away if and when I get it right.  I am taking all the advice on board and working at it.....
  • physio didnt get back to me until over the weekend, and things have eased considerably in the problem area, so I said its probably not worth me going to see pretty good at judging when I need to go...and at the moment I really dont think it's worth was 4 or 5 days ago though.

    I have never suffered from things like this before, and I know I have some biomechanical issues in this foot, but they are largely addressed. I did try some other orthotics a few years ago, but that caused more problems in my knee, so I reverted back to the less 'controlling' approach which I had been using previosuly with only occasional issues (which considering I was doing anything from 80-120 mpw wasnt really that bad!)

    I did do a lot of walking over the weekend, so that may well have helped matters. Will have to wait and see what transpires over this week. I have brought my massage stick into work, and am massaging my shin gently during the day...hopefully that will help things too.

    I did google 'dry needling', and found this..... which may be of interest......

    image - get some needles off ebay and have a go yourself....! I am quite tempted.....

  • Do you heel strike? I've had similar problems and am just getting back into running after waiting for shin splints to heal. I've gone the route of "less is more" and have been going barefoot (just on the treadmill so far) to strengthen up my foot, ankle and lower leg muscles, and wearing only flat, flexible shoes when I have to wear something. Taking it slowly, as my legs aren't used to working quite the same way as most modern trainers seem to dictate they do, but so far no problems at all (just some aching muscles).
    I feel my form is a lot better - less slouchy and sloppy - and for some reason, it's more fun and springy...

    I intend to keep running in flats, but want to keep the barefoot as well to keep the strength in my legs. I can feel the difference, and any "overpronation" I had whilst heel striking seems to have disappeared by landing midfoot.

    Might be worth a try if you continue to suffer problems. Good luck!
  • Saffers - I have had the problem for about 7 months on and off. I have decided to go back to my original trainers, leave the orthotics for now (as they aren't helping so far) and see how it goes. I did purchase a stability trainer, tried them once, and hated them. They were like two bricks, and the heel was quite a bit more chunky too - overall a very clumpy, uncomfortable run which seemed like much harder work. My original trainers are pretty basic, not flat by any means, but certainly flatter than any others I have tried. 
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