Shin splints are a very common problem, especially in athletes and those that run, dance or do any high impact activity. Typically this kind of pain is experienced in the lower part of the leg, and usually on the inside of the lower leg more than the outside. The pain can be described as a deep aching or throbbing that may come on when you’re in activity, (during, before, and even afterwards).
What are shin splints?
Shin splints are caused by inflammation of the tissue that connects the muscles in the lower leg to the shin bone (tibia). The location of the pain tends to be closely associated with the leg bone where the muscles are attaching. It should also be mentioned that sometimes a stress fracture of the leg can be mistaken for shin splint pain. So, if you’ve tried home treatments and are getting no relief, it may be important to rule shin splints out.
The causes of shin splints can be varied as there is a wide range. It can be due to the amount of training you’re doing, or the types of surfaces you’re running on. It could even be due to your shoe gear or the fact that you’re overworking your leg.
Treatment options for shin splints can vary. Treatments can involve cutting back on your activities, reducing the mileage you’re running, possibly running on different surfaces, and trying different shoe gear. You may also consider changing your workout activity from running to swimming and having more rest days. Icing and taking anti-inflammatories may also be useful.
As podiatrists, we look at the foot and leg from a mechanical point of view. Oftentimes, your foot structure plays into why you get shin splints. Shin splint pain is associated with muscles that attach to the lower leg as they’re connected to the bone by some very tight fibers. These fibers can become torn and irritated, and if the muscles in this area are overworking due to muscle or biomechanical imbalances, then you’re more likely to get shin splints.
A typical example would be a patient that overpronates, that is, they tend to flatten their feet too much. This can put excessive strain on muscles in the lower leg that reduces the amount of flattening or pronation your foot has. Oftentimes, using orthotics (custom-made arch supports in the shoes), can relieve some of the symptoms Other treatment options include physical therapy, laser treatment, and cortisone injections.
No matter how long you’ve been experiencing shin splints, a consultation may be useful to understand the root of your problem. You do not have to put up with shin splint pain, as it is something that in most cases is fixable
Don’t let shin splints stop you from doing what you love.
Do the fronts of your lower legs throb, ache, or burn after being physically active? You might be experiencing shin splints.
Shin splints commonly strike runners who recently increased the length or intensity of their runs, or other athletes and dancers who are very physically active. They can be caused by a number of things, including overexertion, flat feet, stress fractures in the lower leg bones, or weakness in the hip or core muscles.
If you’re experiencing chronic shin splints that keep coming back—even after rest, icing, and proper warm-up before exercise—the specialists at Anderson Podiatry Center can help. Our podiatrists can determine why you’re getting shin splints, and help you fix the problems so you can get back to your active lifestyle in no time.
- Long-lasting relief is our goal
- We treat the underlying cause of shin splints, not just the symptoms
- Most insurance plans accepted
- Medicare-certified, state-of the art-surgery center