About Shin Splints

The term “shin splints” describes pain, tenderness and swelling along the shin bone (tibia), which is the big bone at the front of your lower leg. Shin splint pain commonly occurs after repetitive stress is placed on the shinbone and the connective tissues that attach your muscles to the bone (tendons). Repetitive physical activity, sudden changes in your exercise routine, and ill-fitting shoes are some of the factors that cause shin splints. The condition is most common among people who engage in repetitive physical activity, such as athletes, dancers and military recruits. The medical term for shin splints is medial tibial stress syndrome.

Causes

Most often, shin splint injuries are exercise-related. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced athlete, you can develop shin splints at any level of repetitive physical activity. You may be at greater risk of developing shin splints if you are just beginning a running program, if you exercise on hard floors with sudden stops and starts, or run on uneven surfaces. Other causes of shin splints include:

  • Over-exertion in repetitive activities, especially running
  • Extremely tight or weak leg muscles
  • Flat feet
  • High feet arches
  • Improperly-fitting or worn-out shoes

Symptoms

  • Pain along the shin bone
  • Soreness and tenderness
  • Swelling of the lower leg around the shin
  • Recurrence of pain even after you take a break from exercise

Diagnosis and Treatment

Here are some initial, simple steps you can take to relieve the pain of shin splints:

  • Rest
  • Icing the sore area
  • Proper stretching before and after exercise and other repetitive activities
  • Exercises to strengthen muscles and connective tissue
  • Modifications to your exercise routine
  • Corrective shoes and shoe inserts
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen

After you have discussed your particular symptoms with Dr. Ricketti or Dr. Skokan and completed our comprehensive examination, we will be able to recommend a targeted program of treatment to not only address your current pain but also prevent recurrence of the condition.

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of shin splints listed above, or are concerned that you might develop the condition and would like to know how to prevent related injuries, we are here to help you. We know how important it is to have your condition diagnosed accurately and treated properly, so that you can resume a pain-free active life. To schedule an appointment, please call our office located in Hamilton Square, NJ.  Dr. Ricketti and Dr. Skokan will discuss your concerns and provide you with all the treatment, information and planning you need for your health and continued well-being.


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