Shin Splints

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What is Shin Splints?

it’s a condition where in the periosteum of the tibia is damaged when it is pulled away by an overstressed tibialis posterior. Anterior shin splints is a condition where the blood flow is obstructed at the anterior compartment due to the hypertrophy of the over-stressed tibialis anterior.

Common Symptoms
Dull aching pain felt along the medial or anterior sides of the tibia. Once it starts any activity will aggravate it.

How it is caused
During pronation(over pronation) the tendon of the tibialis posterior is stretched and pulled upon excessively thereby attacking the weakest area namely its origin on the periosteum of the tibia. The anterior compartment is tightly constricted, and the swollen tibialis anterior can cause an obstruction of blood flow which in turn, can cause severe pain due to the ischemia (Lack of oxygen) This can be very serious and may require emergency surgery.

More about Shin Splints

Shin splints, also known as medial tibial stress syndrome (MTSS), is a term used to describe pain and inflammation along the inner edge of the shinbone (tibia). This condition is common among athletes, particularly runners, and individuals who engage in repetitive impact activities.

Shin splints typically result from overuse or excessive stress on the muscles, tendons, and bones of the lower leg. The exact cause of shin splints can vary but often involves factors such as:

  1. Repetitive Stress: Engaging in high-impact activities, like running, jumping, or dancing, without proper conditioning or allowing sufficient time for recovery can lead to shin splints.

  2. Inadequate Footwear: Wearing shoes that do not provide proper support or cushioning can increase the risk of shin splints.

  3. Training Errors: Quickly increasing the intensity, duration, or frequency of exercise without proper progression can strain the muscles and bones of the lower leg.

  4. Biomechanical Issues: Abnormalities in foot arches, gait, or leg alignment can contribute to the development of shin splints.

  5. Running Surface: Training on hard or uneven surfaces can place additional stress on the shins.

The primary symptom of shin splints is pain along the inner aspect of the lower leg, typically between the knee and ankle. The pain may be dull and aching, but it can become sharp and more intense during physical activity. The area may also feel tender to the touch, and swelling can occur.

Treatment for shin splints typically involves the following:

  1. Rest: The first step in treating shin splints is to rest and avoid the activities that are causing pain. Continuing to exercise on shin splints can lead to more serious injury.

  2. Ice: Applying ice to the affected area can help reduce inflammation and alleviate pain. Ice should be applied for 15-20 minutes at a time, several times a day.

  3. Anti-inflammatory Medications: Non-prescription pain relievers like ibuprofen or naproxen can help reduce pain and inflammation. Consult a healthcare professional before using these medications, especially if you have any underlying medical conditions.

  4. Proper Footwear: Ensure you are wearing shoes that provide adequate support and cushioning for your specific activity.

  5. Orthotics: In some cases, custom orthotic inserts or arch supports may be recommended to address biomechanical issues.

  6. Physical Therapy: A physical therapist can provide exercises and stretches to strengthen the muscles and improve biomechanics.

  7. Gradual Return to Activity: After the pain has subsided, it’s essential to gradually return to exercise to avoid re-injury.

If shin splints are severe or do not improve with conservative measures, a healthcare professional may order custom foot Orthotics.  Early recognition and appropriate management are crucial for a full recovery from shin splints.

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