An Informative Guide to Prevent Shin Splints Pain for Runners

The word “Shin Splints” depicts the pain experienced along the internal edge of your shin bone. Shin splint pain targets to the lower leg between the ankle and knee. This condition is also known as Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome (MTSS).

Shin splints accounts for an approximate 16.8% of injuries in female runners and 10.7% of injuries in male runners. Aerobic dancers have shin splint rates of up to 22%.

Shin splints often affect people who keep in moderate to weighty physical activity. You may be more probable to grow shin splints if you take part in strenuous physical activities or stop-start games or sports like soccer, racquetball, basketball or tennis. Sometimes the pain of shin splints can be very severe. So if you experience the pain stop your running activity.

Shin splint is an increasing stress disorder.  Frequent pounding and stress on the muscles, joints and bones of the lower legs prevent your body from being competent to naturally restore and repair itself.

Causes of Shin Splints

The pain related with shin splints results from an extreme amounts of force on the shin bone and the tissues connecting the shin bone to the muscles adjacent to it. The extreme force can lead the muscles to swell and enhances the pressure against the bone that causes inflammation and pain.

This shin splint can also result from strain reactions to bone fractures. The steady pounding can cause little cracks in the bones of the leg. Body can heal the cracks if you take proper rest. But, if body does not get proper time to rest, the minute cracks can result in an entire fracture or a stress fracture.

 

Additional Causes of Shin Splints Contain

  • Lack of flexibility
  • An anatomical abnormality (like flat foot syndrome)
  • Improper training techniques
  • Muscle weakness in the buttocks or thighs

 

Excessive Force On The Shins Could Result From

  • Taking part in sports that have fast starts and stops
  • Running downhill
  • Using wrong shoes for working out or running
  • Running on an uneven terrain or slanted surface

Occurring shin splints are also more probable when your leg tendons and muscles are tired. Women or people with rigid arches or flat feet, military recruits, dancers and athletes all have an increased chance of developing shin splints.

 

Symptoms of Shin Splints

People with these splints will feel some of the following symptoms:

  • Muscle pain
  • Pain that grows during exercise
  • Pain along with the inner part of the lower leg
  • A dull ache in the front part of the lower leg
  • Soreness or tenderness along the inner part of the lower leg
  • Pain on either side of the shin bone
  • Weakness and numbness in the feet
  • Swelling in the lower leg (generally mild, if present)

Consult your doctor if your shin splints do not react to general treatment methods or if you are feeling any of the following symptoms:

  • Pain in your shins even while you are resting
  • Severe pain in your shin after an accident or fall
  • A shin that’s visibly inflamed
  • A shin that feels hot
  • Swelling in your shin part that gets worse

 

Treating Shin Splints

Shin splints generally require a break from some physical activities and need proper time to rest your legs. The discomfort will generally resolve in a few hours or at most in a few days with limited activities and rest. The recommended amount of outage is typically about 2 weeks. During this time, you can connect with sports or activities that are less probable to cause extra harm to your legs. These activities contain walking or swimming. Your doctor will frequently recommend that you do the following:

  • Use ice packs to decrease swelling
  • Keep your legs elevated
  • Wear elastic compression bandages
  • Take an over-the-counter pain medicine

Consult with the doctor before restarting any of these activities. It’s crucial to distinguish this condition from more severe conditions affecting the lower leg, like fractures or compartment syndrome. Doing warm up before exercise is also a good way to ensure that your legs are not sore.

These splints rarely need surgery. Compartment syndrome is very painful condition in which an extreme pressure creates within a muscle compartment. If compartment syndrome occurs and the pain is harsh then surgery to open the fascia (is the bulky tissue that surrounds muscle groups) can be essential. If a muscle tears away from your shin bone, surgery will be essential to reattach the muscle.

Dr. Ruchita Chhabra
B.P.T
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