Shin Splints Explained

What are Shin Splints?

If you’re an active runner or someone who’s on their feet for a good part of the day, than you’ve probably suffered from some type of shin pain in your life. If you feel tenderness, soreness or pain along the inner part of your lower leg than you may have shin splints. The condition is known medically as medial tibial stress syndrome and may also be accompanied by mild swelling in the lower leg. It’s important that you receive treatment as soon as you notice the problem to alleviate further damage of the surrounding bone tissue, muscles, and tendons that were overworked.

Shin Splint Symptoms

  • - Shin has a sharp or dull and throbbing pain
  • - Pain is present during and after you exercise
  • - The shin is irritated when touched

Shin Splint Causes

    • - Stress fractures caused by several tiny breaks over time
    • - Postural abnormalities, like fallen arch or flat feet
    • - Muscles that have become swollen from overuse
    • - Muscle weakness of the hip, thigh or buttocks
    • Individuals who participate in stop and start sports are much more likely to develop shin splints. A few examples of sports where this is seen is basketball, tennis, soccer, running, lacrosse, and racquetball. Diagnosing shin splints is usually easy with proper medical history and a physical exam by a physician. On some occasions an X-ray may be used to help pinpoint other possible causes of your pain.

Treatment for Shin Splints

    • - Limit activities that caused the pain
    • - Gradually work in low-impact exercise to strengthen muscles while recovering
    • Ice.
    • -Apply cold therapy to the affected shin for 15 to 20 minutes at a time, four to eight times a day for several days.
    • -Do not apply ice pack directly to the skin, use a towel or wrap.
  • Pain Relievers.
  • -Use an over-the-counter pain reliever like Advil, Motrin IB, Aleve or Tylenol to reduce pain.
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Full activity can usually be resumed after the tenderness and pain is gone and flexibility is regained. This should be reached gradually over time, without an increase in symptoms. Resources: WebMD: Mayo Clinic: American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons: Runners World:

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