What Are Shin Splints?
Shin splints are most easily defined as pain along the shin bone during or after increased activity or exercise. Due to the overuse along the shinbone one may begin to feel pain. This pain is located at the large front bone in the lower leg. When the muscle is overworked it can cause tension and pull on the tibia bone, hence why shin splints are also known as “tibial stress syndrome”. This stress causes inflammation and pain. In addition, you may feel the pain travel into the muscle and also over the ankle through the muscles and tendons. Shin splints are a very common issue due to how active our population is and your diagnosis can easily be confirmed by a thorough history and physical exam by your podiatrist. Most cases can be treated through rest and ice. But they can also be prevented through wearing proper footwear and modifying your usual workout regime!
What Are The Symptoms of Shin Splints?
At first this may be a pain that you feel when exercising that goes away when you stop exercising. So, naturally one will think that this is nothing to worry about BUT feeling pain when exercising is not normal, so it is definitely important to keep a close eye on this and find a way to treat it. The shin splint will feel like some sort of tenderness, soreness, and pain along the side of your shinbone. Again, if this goes untreated then you may be at risk for long term pain.
Shin Splints Can Feel Like..
- Sharp and dull pains
- Can occur during or after exercising
- More painful when you touch the spot
Who is at Risk for Shin Splints?
Runners are at a higher risk than others of suffering from a shin splint. But, to be exact, if you are a beginner and have just joined a running program you are at a higher risk. Regular runners who have not had issues thus far are less likely to suffer from this. However, if you have just started to increase the duration of your running and/or intensity, you may be at risk. If your running route consists of uneven terrains, be careful because this could cause a shin splint. Lastly, if you have pre-existing flat feet or high arches.
How Can I prevent Shin Splints?
In order to avoid shin splints it is essential to learn the different ways to prevent it from happening in the first place! So what can you do? It is important to have the right support for your feet. Make sure you pick out the right shoe for you and you can even add some shock absorbing insoles. For those who suffer from flat arches, you can get arch support in order to reduce the chances of a shin splint occurring! Be mindful of overdoing your working out, lessen the impact on your shins with different types of workouts, and incorporate weight training in your routine to build up the muscles so you are prepared to deal with high impact exercising!
Shin splint Treatment
Some of the best treatments include the first 3 actions of the RICE acronym which is described below and will help aid with the inflammation along with oral anti-inflammatory medication.
A custom orthotic is also part of the treatment regimen to provide musculotendinous balancing and prevent return of this painful condition.
How Can a Podiatrist Help?
If you are experiencing pain, a podiatrist can help you locate the exact source of the pain through an exam. A podiatrist can tell you if this pain is due to shin splints or if it may be some other coniditon. A ruptured achillies tendon can also cause similar pain to a shin splint. Your podiatrist can take an x-ray to confirm the diagnosis and get an exact look. Shin splints can be treated through the above mentioned RICE method. But they can also turn into something serious such as a stress fracture. This is why it is important to your well being and quality of life to check in with a podiatrist because everyone's situation can differ.
Orthotics can play a major role in your well being because they offer arch support that can lead to feeling less or no pain when walking or running. Orthotics are worn on the inside of your shoe, they are custom made to fit your feet and its needs perfectly! At Family Foot & Ankle Specialists we can measure you so that you can start using orthotics to feel the support and comfort that your feet have been looking for.
Do You Need The Help Of Educated, Experienced and Caring Podiatrists? Contact Our Hillsborough Office Today To Schedule Your Apppointment!
If you have any further questions regarding treatment or prevention of shin splints, please do not hesitate to call us at 732-968-3833!