The Relationship of Lower Extremity Range of Motion and Incidence of Shin Splints in Collegiate Runners: A Pilot Study

Student: Megan Sievers
Mentor: Andrew Busch (OWU Department of Health & Human Kinetics)

Shin splints have become a routine diagnosis provided by medical professionals as a way of generalizing pain in the lower leg. This injury is especially common in the sport of track and field accounting for about half of all overuse injuries in the lower leg. Despite its prevalence in runners, the exact cause of pain is unknown. Research shows conflicting evidence over certain anatomical factors that could be generating pain in the lower extremity; among which could be deficiencies in dorsiflexion and hip range of motion (ROM). If anatomical discrepancies exist, the athletes could be at a higher risk of developing future injuries in the lower extremity. The purpose of this pilot study was to investigate the relationship between past incidents of medial tibial pain and ankle dorsiflexion and hip internal/external range of motion in Division III track and field athletes. Dorsiflexion and hip internal and external ROM were assessed in twenty-three runners. Results showed no significant relationships between dorsiflexion ROM (t(21)=-1.876, p=0.06) and hip internal and external ROM (t(21)= -0.490, p=0.629; t(21)= 0.118, p= -1.741). Right ankle dorsiflexion ROM was nearly significant (p=0.06) which suggests a potential trend with a larger sample size. Previous injury did not significantly predict deficiencies in ROM.

More information about this project in Digital Commons @ OWU

Contact Info


Slocum Hall
65 S. Sandusky St.
Delaware, OH 43015
P 740-368-3880

David Markwardt, Associate Dean of the OWU Connection