Shin splints and forefoot contact running: a case report

J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 1994 Aug;20(2):98-102. doi: 10.2519/jospt.1994.20.2.98.


Many athletes develop shin splints after athletic activity. The purpose of this case report is to describe the treatment of a patient with posteromedial tibial pain (shin splints) who habitually ran with a forefoot contact running style. The 20-year-old male patient, who played volleyball and basketball about 7 hours a week, complained of pain in the middle one-third of the posteromedial tibia after an acute but prolonged episode of running. Routine observational analysis and in-shoe pressure analysis of the patient's running style showed that he habitually ran on his toes with an absence of heelstrike (forefoot contact running). After instructing the patient on heel-toe running, he no longer complained of posteromedial tibial bone pain. Several possible reasons are proposed for the reduction of leg pain following cessation of forefoot contact running. This case report proposes forefoot contact running as a possible contributor to posteromedial shin splints and that a change in running style may be the optimal treatment for some patients.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Pain / etiology
  • Running / injuries*
  • Running / physiology*
  • Shoes
  • Tibia