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Feet for Life Month

Sport your best feet in 2012

Feet for lifeThis summer has been jam-packed with enough sporting events to interest all different tastes and passions, and the best is yet to come! London plays host to the world’s biggest and most greatly anticipated sporting event, the Olympics, in a month’s time.

TFFLM’s campaign “Sport your best feet in 2012” surfaces this June in light of the Olympics. It aims to raise awareness of sports related foot injuries and the importance of foot care, for anyone participating in sports. Throughout the duration of high profile events we hear about professional athletes suffering from a wide range of sports related injuries, which can impact their performance.

Supported by leading sports podiatrists, TFFLM is focusing on eradicating the use of the harmful term “shin splints.” They are urging clinicians, sportsmen, coaches and trainers not to use the term, highlighting that it is an umbrella term and, as such, is often used as a diagnosis for exercise-induced leg pain (EILP). This has the potential to result in misdiagnosis and subsequent poor management. The term “shin splints” is actually a non-specific umbrella term covering multiple conditions. In 1966, the American Medical Association published “The Standard Nomenclature of Athletic Injuries”. There was a mixed response to this definition but in the main it was widely criticised. There is now broad agreement that most EILP will fall into the following categories:

  •  Pain of bony origin, e.g. focal stress fracture and diffuse micro-fracture of stress reaction.
  • Pain of osteofascial origin usually along the medial border of the tibia, e.g. periostitis (often referred to as medial tibial stress syndrome – MTSS)
  • Pain of muscular origin e.g. chronic exertional compartment syndrome (CECS).
  • Pain due to compression of nerve, either local or regional (radiculopathy).
  • Pain due to temporary vascular compromise, e.g. popliteal artery entrapment syndrome.


There are no formal data on the number of cases that have been misdiagnosed per annum but verbal communication with experts in this field such as Dr Nat Padhiar from The John King Centre for Leg Pain at London Independent Hospital, estimate that it could be high. Podiatrists are urging people who experience these symptoms to seek help from podiatrists with sports medicine expertise.

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