Shin Splints Are A Common Complaint
Among athletes of every level, from competitive athletes to middle school kids running three laps around the gym. However, anyone can get shin splints. Also known as tibial fasciitis, shin splints are an overuse injury that results in inflammation of the muscle that attaches to the shin bone. It's painful, reoccurring, and often is resistant to treatment.
Patients with shin splints complain of pain or tenderness in the shins that seems to increase when they are walking or exercising. The discomfort might fade a bit while they're exercising, but it usually comes back full force after they cool down.
This painful nuisance can be caused by:
- Incorrect shoes
- Failure to properly stretch
- Running on hard surfaces
- Inflexible calf muscles
- We particularly see a lot of patients that are either starting a new exercise routine or have joined a new sport, because their bodies are not used to this new type of work out.
When treating shin splints, we take steps to reduce the pain and prevent them from coming back. Some options for treatment include:
- Strengthening exercises and stretches
- Changing the type of shoes you wear
- Custom orthotics that will reduce stress on the muscle
- Physical therapy
We often combine these with anti-inflammatory medications, rest and ice applications. For athletes opposed to rest, we can recommend alternate activities that will allow you to keep in shape while letting the shins heal, such as biking and swimming.