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Shin Splints — Causes, Symptoms, Treatment & Prevention

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Written by Nancy

Shin splints are a common injury among people who are involved in activities that lead to high impact stress on the legs and feet. They affect a wide range of people, from military personnel to professional athletes. But the most common victims of this injury are runners.

According to the latest statistics, shin splints have a 26% occurrence among runners, while aerobic dancers sustained 22% of all shin splint injuries reported last year.

Shin Splints Causes:

Shin splints are also known as medial tibial stress syndrome (MTSS). They often occur among athletes or people who have recently intensified their training routines or workout patterns.

The increase in activity and the additional stress on the shin bone (tibia) overwork the surrounding bone tissue, muscles, and tendons. This causes an inflammation which is known as a shin splint.

Some other causes of shin splints include:

  • Flat feet, collapsed arches, or other genetic issues
  • Shoes that don’t fit properly or provide the proper support
  • Working out without warming up
  • Overlooking cool-down stretches
  • Inadequate calcium intake
  • Week muscles or joints
  • Being overweight
  • Over-training

Preventing Shin Splints:

While there isn’t a single consistent method to prevent shin splints, there are several tips that can reduce the risk of injury. These include:

  • Wearing shock-absorbing shoes or insoles while running or working out.
  • Reduction your body weight
  • Increasing the intensity of your workout or training gradually
  • Warming up with proper stretches before a workout.
  • Doing post-workout cool-down stretches
  • Replacing running shoes after 400–800 km depending on your body weight and training intensity
  • Custom orthotics

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Shin Splints Treatment:

Experiencing soreness, pain or tenderness along the inner side of your shin bone and some swelling in your lower legs can be signs of shin splints. The pain might stop while you are in motion, but can increase gradually if you ignore it.

The best way forward is consulting a physician the moment you notice these signs. If you are diagnosed with shin splints, the treatment can include:

  • X-rays and bone scans to assess the extent of the injury
  • Getting rest and keeping the injured leg alleviated
  • Taking on-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to reduce swelling and pain.
  • Taping the area of around the injury
  • Ice massages
  • Physiotherapy
  • Getting custom orthotics designed by a professional podiatrist

Get In Touch With Expert Podiatrists at SEMI

Looking for certified podiatrists in the greater Toronto area? Sports & Exercise Medicine Institute sports medicine and physical therapy clinic offers the services of leading podiatrists and sports injury doctors. They offer hands-on assessment, customized treatment plans, and patient education.

Their services include custom orthotics, foot pain podiatry services, shockwave therapy, massage therapy and much more! Contact them now to schedule an appointment!

Disclaimer: This article is not intended for the purpose of providing medical advice. All information, content, and material are for informational purposes only and are not intended to serve as a substitute for the consultation, diagnosis, and/or medical treatment of a qualified physician or healthcare provider.

About the author

Nancy

I’m Nancy and no, I didn’t always look like I do in that picture on the right. My foray into health and fitness began as a brace-faced, 16 year-old who was too afraid to wear a two-piece at the beach because I felt my body paled in comparison to my much more toned friends.

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