Preventing + Treating Shin Splints

April 4, 2017

The condition of shin splints (also known as medial tibia stress syndrome) is a common, exercise-related issue resulting in pain along the inner edge of the tibia.

This issue most commonly occurs in runners, but can be associated with any physical activity. Shin splints develop after muscle and bone tissues are overworked. Changes in frequency and duration of exercise, as well as having flat feet or exercising with improper footwear can also lead to the syndrome.

There are several ways to treat shin splints.

  • First and foremost, it’s crucial to consult with your physician and follow your doctor’s instructions as every case is different.
  • Because the condition is most commonly caused by overuse, rest will help relieve the pain.
  • Reduce pain and swelling with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines, such as ibuprofen, aspirin and naproxen.
  • Apply ice or cold packs for 20 minutes at a time to the affected area. However, do not apply ice directly to your skin.
  • Prevent additional swelling with compression. This can be easily accomplished by wearing an elastic compression bandage.
  • Supportive shoes with good cushioning decrease the pressure placed on your shins throughout the day.
  • Those who have flat feet may benefit from orthotics (shoe inserts that help align and stabilize your foot).

After experiencing shin splints, you will undoubtedly want to take action to prevent the condition from reoccurring. The following preventative actions can help reduce your risk for redeveloping shin splints.

  • Use proper footwear. Look for athletic shoes that match your foot structure. Visit a local running shop to get a specialist’s input.
  • Remember that any fitness regimen should be built gradually to avoid overuse.
  • Add some variety to your typical exercise programs with cross-training.

If your pain sustains, please contact Campbell Clinic to meet with a physician. For more information about Campbell Clinic, please visit our website.

This blog post was adapted from AAOS.


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