Tag Archives: shin splints

Shin Splints No More

“Shin Splints” or Medial Tibial Stress syndrome (MTSS) is a global term for pain along the inside of the shin. It’s the result of repetitive loads to the front of the shin, and the inability to keep up with the repair process. As we approach the marathon season late summer and early autumn, runners are starting to ramp up training programs, and what is more frustrating to any runner, but to put in the long month of training, and then to have to pull out of a race you have been looking forward to for months due to injury?


So as we step up our training, this is the time to help prevent these type of overuse injuries by adding in preventative exercises and using these simple tips!


  • Training Load
    • Incremental and gradual
    • Create a plan and have an expert look over it
    • Listen to your body, it is the best judge!


  • Posterior Chain Strength
    • Make your Glutes, Hamstrings and Calfs strong and tough enough to withstand the training load
    • Try these three exercises below, and add into your training program two to three times per week!


  • Recovery
    • Hydration
    • Nutrition
    • And sleep

The king of recovery strategies, get a minimum of 8 hours sleep per night.

Thomas Divily Chartered Physio

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Early Back Pain Management

Have you ever suffered from back pain?

We have all done it!

PING and then the back is in spasm, it’s not very pleasant and can strike at any time.

Functional Training Ireland physiotherapist Joey Boland demonstrates how to self manage the onset of back pain to help reduce the pain you’re suffering prior to being assessed and treated.

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Hit the trigger points in your hips

Peter Mathews talks us through the techniques he uses to help you alleviate pain you may be suffering in your knee, calf or back through working out any trigger points you may have around your hips. Peter shows us the spots to target to help you be pain free.


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Do you want to start running?

By David Hare and Peter Mathews


Running, walking or jogging is still one of the most popular methods people use to get fit. It is not my number one choice for most people, however, if you’re going to do it – do it well. Here are a few tips from the professionals that fix running injuries day in day out.


What Runners/Trainers Should I Buy? 



It depends on you; if you are a heavy set individual a runner called the Brooks Beast is the best option, this runner has tonnes of cushioning.

If you tend to be not the smoothest of runner, a runner called Brooks Adrenaline offers good control. Asics top of the range model the Gel Kayano works really well for everyone in between.

The most important thing to realise is if you scrimp on your runners it will come back to haunt you.


Where to buy them?


Peter Mathews asserts that these shops are very good at getting runners; you want a sports shop that understands sport not just what looks good. A good sport shop will stock Asics, New Balance and Brooks for example.


Mick Dowling Sports – Terenure Dublin

Amphibian King – Bray Wicklow

John Buckley – Cork (John himself was a runner and so are some of the staff!)

Elvery Sports- Nationwide

Runways- Dublin


Some shops now like Amphibian King or Runways will actually do Gait analysis for you. This basically means they will be able to tell you the best runner for your needs.


What to avoid?


Avoid gimmicks, most joggers run with completely inadequate gear, forget fashion ladies and think function. Any runner that looks good with jeans or has been used for the gardening for a number of years is not a good choice. Get a nice fresh pair of runners that suit your feet and running style and your body will thank you. I will also say avoid running barefoot cold turkey – not a good idea at all.


What prices are runners?


Obviously the vary in price greatly, but the most expensive runner out there is the Gel Kayano at about 123 euro, the Brooks Beast should be around 100 euro. A good entry level Asics or Brooks will cost you over 80 euros; Peter Mathews would say it’s worth it. Let’s face it running is cheap anyway so don’t be scabby.


Best Brands?


Typically the best brands are Asics, Brooks, New Balance and Addidas probably in that order too. Both Peter and I don’t like Nike or any fashion type runner (even though they look great).


Happy Running and remember you still need to do core, stretching  etc and get a plan from a professional if you truly want to avoid injuries.

Running Injuries

All Runners at some stage will experience an injury, whether the novice building up to their first 10K or the experienced marathon runner.

by Orla Magorrian – Head Physiotherapist at Functional Training Ireland


Injuries fall into two categories:


Traumatic Injuries and Overload injuries.

Traumatic injuries are a part of the body that undergoes a sudden force in a direction it should not move in which results in anatomical structures getting damaged or at worst, ruptured or fractured.

For example, the soccer player who twists his knee and ruptures major ligaments.

Overload injuries are where certain parts of the movement chain (your whole leg is a ‘chain’) take more pressure during a movement than what they are able to tolerate and therefore become inflamed and painful.

As running is a straight -line activity, most injuries that occur are due to overload as opposed to trauma (unless a runner trips and falls!).

Common structures that can get injured are the Ilio-Tibial Band (ITB) and the lower leg- Shin Splints.


ITB – Knee Pain


The ITB is a collagen strap that starts at the lateral (outside) part of your hip and travels down the outside of the leg, and inserts below the knee joint. Its role is to stabilise the hip as you place weight from one foot to the other- your pelvis moves in a sideways direction.

It gets overloaded if muscles around the hip do not stabilise the area as much as they should. The ITB does not have a high component of elastic tissue therefore it cannot be stretched!

The best way to recover from any overload injury is to offload the painful structure. If the hip muscles (glutes) begin to work harder, this will then release the ITB and free it up from structures around it (quads and hamstrings). Using a foam roller is a good way to do this.




Shin Splints, is a generalised term used when someone is having severe pain in the front of the lower leg.

During running, when you heel strike, forces travel up the leg in a vertical line. If a runner has excessive pronation of the foot (were the arch collapses) it can result in the forces hitting the inside part of the shin bone as opposed to going up the centre of the lower leg. If runners have very flat feet they can be more prone to this, as well as runners whose hip stabilisers are not working, which results in the knee falling inwards.

The extra force hitting onto the inside border of the tibia (shin bone) cause an inflammatory reaction in the lining of the bone and it becomes inflamed and painful. Over time, if the inflammation builds-up it can cause tiny cracks to form on the surface of the bone.

These cracks are what form stress fractures and can take a long time to recover from. It is important to have good running mechanics.

Working with one of our chartered physiotherapists or massage therapists will really help you avoid or fix these injuries.