Shin Splints

Causes:

  • Shin Splints occur when people put too much pressure on their shin bones
  • The associated tissues that connect the shinbone to the muscles are excessively forced, causing swelling and inflammation

Signs and Symptoms:

  • Pain felt along the front of your lower leg/shin bone
  • Pain mostly felt between knee and ankle
  • Shin splints can also be referred to as Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome (MTSS)

 Risk Factors:

  • Training intensity – a rapid change in training volume or intensity can cause shin splints
  • Hyperpronation – this is when the ankle bone turns inward and the foot turns outward
  • Flat feet
  • Uneven legs
  • Running on solid surfaces
  • Not enough cushion in running shoes
  • Bad running form
  • Running on uneven surfaces

Prevention:

  • Do not increase workload too quickly – shin splints usually occur when the workload increases to quickly
  • Gradually increase the workload, be willing to take days off, and do not try to run through pain.
  • When possible try to avoid running on solid surfaces – running on hard surfaces causes a lot of stress and wear and tear on joints.  Running on a treadmill is better for joints than running on a paved surface.
  • Correct footwear – running in the correct shoes is vital. Old shoes with little cushioning can cause shin splints.  Shoes should be replaced every 300 to 400 miles.
  • Cross-training – running can be stressful on the body. Cross-training with cycling and swimming to balance out the running can help ease the stress that is caused by running.
  • Running style – when running, try to strike mid-foot. Shorter strides usually help, especially after a taxing workout.

Diagnosing:

  • Shin splints is a general term that can have a wide umbrella. There are two general types of shin splints:  Bone Related and Muscle Relate
  • Bone Related
    • Stress injury
    • Stress fracture
    • Crack in the bone
  • Muscle Related:
    • Shin Splints or Exertional Compartment Syndrome(ECS) can occur in any part of the lower leg and gets worse during exercise
  •  Treatment:
    • Go to the doctor to get a proper diagnosis
    • Shin splints can progress into stress fractures, which can take much longer to heal.
    • Find another activity to lower the strain on the injured area, for example stationary biking or swimming
    • Ice or use an AllTuff USA injury wrap for 3-4 hours a day for 2-3 days or until pain is gone
    • Use shoe inserts, custom or store-bought inserts will work.
    • Use anti-inflammatory painkiller if needed (Ibuprofen, Aspirin)