Shin Splints

Shin Splints is a Preventable and Treatable Pain

Running and sports that require running could often cause pain in the front lower region of the leg and is called shin splints or tibial stress syndrome. It is a fairly common condition that causes pain and swelling in the lower leg particularly during exercise. Although there are a number of known causes for shin splints, the medical condition is relatively unknown. It has often been associated with the tendons supporting the lower leg.

Common Causes of Tibial Stress Syndrome
Overtraining is a leading cause of shin splints. A runner heads out the door for the first long run of the season and soon develops a mild pain and swelling in the lower portion of the legs. A good running program is progressive and starts with lesser distances to build strength in the muscles. Improper footwear could also cause shin splints. Individuals with a tendency to over-protonate are often victim of shin splints due to improper alignment of the legs impacting the running surface.

Simple Preventative Methods for Shin Splints
A running program should always start with short distances less than 5 miles. As the muscles strengthen and adjust, the running distances are increased gradually. The run distance should not be increased more than ten percent each week. It is also important to incorporate a rest day for full recovery. Footwear should be purchased from a store where qualified runners can evaluate a runner’s stride. Different shoe styles are available for individuals who over-protonate or under-protonate.

Basic Treatments for Mild Shin Splints
Ice and over the counter pain medications is often recommended as initial treatment for tibial stress syndrome. Ice should be applied before and after a run. Rest days between runs could also provide time for the legs to recover. Shoes with proper fit could also be helpful. However, if the pain and swelling persist, then it is time to consult a podiatrist with experience in the treatment of running related injuries. A podiatrist could prescribe orthotic shoe inserts to provide padding where it is most needed.

Mild pain associated with shin splints provides an early warning of developing conditions. Proper footwear and training could be helpful in prevention. Ice, rest and ibuprofen may help reduce the pain and swelling. When preventative measures and basic treatments fail to provide relief, then it is best to consult a physician. Shin splints should never end a running program.

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