The term shin splints refers to pain along the shin bone (tibia), the large bone in the front of the leg. Shin splints typically are often associated with running, but any vigorous sports activity can lead to the issue, especially when starting a fitness program.
Shin splints symptoms include tenderness, soreness or pain along the inner side of the shin bone and mild swelling in the lower leg. Although pain may start only after exercising, continued stress may cause the pain to become continuous and could eventually lead to a stress fracture.
The risk of shin splits increases significantly when beginning a running program. With running or any exercise involving the legs, increasing the duration, frequency, or intensity can lead to shin splints. People with flat feet or high arches are more likely to have this issue.
Shin splints are caused by repetitive stress on the tibia (shin bone) and the connective tissues that attach muscles to the bone. One underlying cause is pronation, sometimes referred to as "flat feet", when the foot rolls inward and the arch of the foot flattens.
Shin splints can often be prevented with simple changes to exercise programs. First, avoid over-exercising. Runners should choose good shoes and replace them when they wear out. Shock-absorbing insoles or custom orthotics may help and people with flat arches should consider adding arch supports to help prevent the issue. Choose a mix of activities that place less stress on shins such as swimming or biking.
Treatment options include, rest, icing the leg, compression wraps, orthotics, or an over the counter pain reliever.
The Concierge Podiatry Advantage
At Concierge Podiatry we specialize in treating all podiatric issues including shin splits, where laser therapy can provide immediate relief. For the longer term, Perfect Posture Orthotics hold feet in the correct position to reduce the possibility of recurrence. We take the time needed to diagnose and explain all options before beginning any course of treatment.
- Contact Concierge Podiatry for an appointment
- Learn more about treatment options often used to treat this issue