Shin Splints

Shin splints, also known as medial tibial stress syndrome, is a painful ailment caused by inflammation of the muscles, tendons, and bone tissue around the inside border of the shinbone (tibia).

Causes

Shin splints are produced by repeated stress on the shinbone and the connective tissues that link the muscles to the bone. The following are some of the most prevalent causes of shin splints:

Overuse: Engaging in high-impact activities such as running, leaping, or dancing for extended periods of time can cause shin splints by putting strain on the shinbone and connective tissues.

Inadequate footwear: Wearing shoes that do not provide adequate support or cushioning might place additional strain on the shins.

Muscle imbalances: Having weak muscles in the legs or hips can cause shin splints by overusing the muscles in the shins.

People with flat feet are more likely to get shin splints because their feet lack arch support, which can contribute to overpronation, a condition in which the foot slides inward while walking or jogging. Running on hard surfaces, such as concrete or asphalt, can impose extra strain on the shinbone and connective tissues, resulting in shin splints.

Symptoms

These symptoms often appear after physical exertion and subside after rest. If you have any of these symptoms, you should consult a doctor for correct diagnosis and treatment.

Shin splints are commonly associated with the following symptoms:

  1. Ache: A dull, throbbing pain along the inner tibial edge that can range from mild to severe.
  2. Tenderness: When the region is touched or squeezed, it causes pain or discomfort.
  3. Swelling: Swelling or redness might be caused by inflammation in the afflicted region.
  4. Stiffness: The afflicted region may feel stiff and tight, particularly in the morning or after resting.
  5. Cramping: People suffering from shin splints may experience cramping in the afflicted muscles.
  6. Fatigue: Pain might make you feel weary and exhausted.
  7. Bruising: In extreme situations, a bruise may appear on the afflicted area.

Treatment

Rest, ice, stretching and strengthening exercises, and, in certain situations, physical therapy are common treatments for shin splints. Pain and inflammation can also be relieved using over-the-counter pain relievers. It is also critical to treat any underlying reasons, such as overuse, inappropriate footwear, or hard surface training. A doctor or physical therapist should be consulted to design a personalized treatment plan.