Shin splint is a term referred to the pain or inflammation of the muscles, bone tissues, and tendons around the shinbone or tibia. A shinbone is a large bone found in the front of your lower leg. Having Shin Splints are common in people who are runners like marathon runners, dancers, athletes, and people who are in the army, in which they need to exercise and run way too much mostly throughout the day. These activities put too much pressure on the legs, thereby leading to overworking of the muscles, tissues of the bones, and tendons.
Below are some of the symptoms that one might notice if they have shin splints.
- Mild swelling in the lower leg
- Continuous stress on the lower leg
- Stress reaction or stress fracture
Below are some of the causes and risk factors leading to shin splints
- Repetitive pressure or stress on the shin bone
- Overloading/ overusing the leg muscles
- Increased training/ intensive training
- Have flat feet or high arches
- Repetitive exercises of lower legs
Runners, dancers, athletes, hikers, and gymnasts are the people who are at risk of getting shin splints too often.
The diagnosis of shin splints is usually made based on the patient’s medical history and then a physical examination is done to assess the severity of the injury. An X-ray or other imaging examinations may be used to rule out other reasons for your discomfort, such as a stress fracture.
Depending on the injury, the treatment plan is offered. Shin splints can be treated with easy self-care measures at home:
- Avoid doing those activities which can cause severe pain in your lower legs, but don’t completely stop exercising. Do more low-impact exercises like swimming, bicycling, etc.
- Apply a hot/Ice pack for a few days for 15-20 minutes to reduce the inflammation
- The doctor may prescribe certain OTC medications to relieve the pain but in case the pain is not reduced, seeking immediate help might be the best solution