Shin splints occur when you have put too much stress through your leg.
Pain is felt down the front of the lower leg anywhere between the knee and the ankle along the edge of the shin bone which becomes very sensitive to touch and there may also be some swelling.
Shin splints is generally caused by repeated pounding such as running or jumping or by sports involving a lot of stopping and starting or abrupt changes of direction as in rugby or basket ball.
Other factors may predispose to shin splints such as anomalies of the foot (flat feet, tight or dropped arches), inappropriate foot ware during sport activities and running on uneven ground.
Shin Splints are also known as Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome (MTSS).
In some cases the repeated pounding of the activity can cause micro fractures in the Tibia which in severe cases can cause stress fractures.
The muscles which move the ankle and foot all attach to the Tibia as well as the Fibula and repetitive strain on these tissues can cause inflammation of the tendon attachment on the interosseus membrane.
What to do
Firstly it is important to reduce the inflammation with the application of an ice pack (a bag of frozen peas works very well).
Anti inflammatory medication may also be helpful though should you be unsure if they are suitable for you, then please do check with your Doctor first.
Change to more gentle exercise such as swimming, pilates, yoga or a non weight bearing gym regime.
Shock absorbing silicone insoles will help to reduce impact.
In cases of persistent pain a compression support bandage may help to relieve the symptoms.
Hopefully all of the above will bring about a swift recovery however if the symptoms are persistent after 10 days to 2 weeks then it is time to see your physiotherapist who will be able to apply ultrasound, deep tissue massage and passive stretching.
The Physiotherapy Centre
+34 609 353 805
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