Shin splints are a very painful complication caused by overuse of the muscles that are connected to the shinbone (also referred to as the tibia). The pain radiates along the shin area and increases during exercise. Causes may include intense exercise or sports involving a lot of running. Our specialist for diabetic foot care outlines the causes and treatments for shin splints below.
Shin splints (or medial tibial stress syndrome) will cause aching and throbbing in your shin area when running, exercising, or even walking. Shin splints are caused by stress and inflammation of the muscles connecting to the shinbone, and the shinbone itself. It may cause inflexibility of the leg and difficulty exercising.
If you experience increased pain when attempting to lift your ankle and flex your foot upwards, the likely cause is a shin splint.
Shin splints are more likely if you have flat feet, don’t warm-up prior to exercise, or have weak ankles or hips. Other factors include a recent increase in strenuous exercise, ill-fitting shoes, and running on hard surfaces.
Our podiatrist can diagnose the cause of your shin splints. If you’re flat-footed, orthotics may be recommended to support your feet. If it’s caused by a certain activity, you should discontinue that activity until the injury has healed. It is recommended to ice your leg and use pain relievers (if necessary). If you’re a runner, you will be advised to stop running. If the injury was caused by an increase in exercise, you should step down your routine and rest until the shin splints have healed.
When returning to your regular exercise routine, make sure that your shoes have adequate support, and take it slow to avoid recurrence of shin splints!
The information provided in this article is not meant to be medical advice and is for educational purposes only. If you would like to learn more about this and other topics related to podiatry, feel free to contact The Podiatry Center, with convenient podiatry offices located in Rockville, MD, by calling 301.660.8225 or by clicking here.