What are Symptoms of shin splints?
People with shin splints will experience some of the following symptoms:
- a dull ache in the front part of the lower leg
- pain that develops during exercise
- pain on either side of the shin bone
- muscle pain
- pain along the inner part of the lower leg
- tenderness or soreness along the inner part of the lower leg
- swelling in the lower leg (usually mild if present)
- numbness and weakness in the feet
- severe pain in your shin after a fall or accident
- a shin that feels hot
- a shin that is visibly swollen
- pain in your shins even when you are resting.
How are shin splints diagnosed?
Shin splints is diagnosed via physical examination and evaluation of your medical history. The physiotherapists will take notes about your training schedule, workplace activities, and may also want to know whether you have recently begun a new exercise regime that requires running or jumping.
The physical examination allows us to see exactly where your leg hurts. We may move your ankle in different positions and have you hold your foot against applied pressure. By stretching the tibialis muscles, and by feeling where these muscles attach on the tibia, we can begin to tell where the problem is.
What are the symptoms of plantar fasciitis?
How is Shin splint treated?
When should you see the physiotherapist?
The treatment focuses on reduction of inflammation and pain relief. Patients suffering from shin splints receive Ultrasound treatments, effective in halting pain and inflammation. To speed your recovery the physiotherapists may also use deep tissue release technique along the junction where the sore tibialis muscle meets the tibia, followed by gentle stretching of the calf and tibialis muscles.
We will evaluate your posture and alignment to see if you have problems with pronation (arch flattening), a condition that we commonly see associated with posterior shin splints. Sometimes a small heel wedge, placed under the inside edge of the heel, is enough to ease tension on the posterior tibialis muscle. For more severe problems of pronation, we may recommend foot orthotics to support the arch and reduce stresses on the posterior tibialis muscle.
How long is the shin splint treatment?
How can shin splints can prevented?
- Analyze your movement. A formal video analysis of your running technique can help to identify movement patterns that can contribute to shin splints. In many cases, a slight change in your running can help decrease your risk.
- Avoid overdoing. Too much running or other high-impact activity performed for too long at too high an intensity can overload the shins.
- Choose the right shoes. If you're a runner, replace your shoes about every 350 to 500 miles (560 to 800 kilometers).
- Consider arch supports. Arch supports can help prevent the pain of shin splints, especially if you have flat arches.
- Consider shock-absorbing insoles. They might reduce shin splint symptoms and prevent recurrence.
- Lessen the impact. Cross-train with a sport that places less impact on your shins, such as swimming, walking or biking. Remember to start new activities slowly. Increase time and intensity gradually.
- Add strength training to your workout. Exercises to strengthen and stabilize your legs, ankles, hips and core can help prepare your legs to deal with high-impact sports.