shin splint

What To Do About Shin Splints

Stephen D. Lasday, DPM Podiatrist Sarasota and Bradenton

shin splintThe term “shin splints”  or medial tibial stress syndrome refers to pain along or just behind the shin one (tibia) — the large bone in the front of your lower legs.

Shin splints can occur during physical activity and result from too much force being placed on your shinbone and connective tissues that attach your muscles to the bone.

Shin splints are common in runners and in those who participate in sports/activities with sudden stops and starts. (Think Tennis!)

It can also be related to a collapsing arch, but may be due to  a muscle imbalance between opposing muscle groups in the leg. Shin splints can cause quite a bit of pain and discomfort!

If you find yourself suffering from shin splints, here are a few steps you can take to help you feel better.

  • Rest. Good ole’rest…you just can’t beat it for helping your body recover.
  • Change Your Exercise Routine. Switch to low-impact exercises, such as swimming, bicycling or water aerobics while you are recovering.
  • Ice . Apply ice packs to the affected shin for 15 to 20 minutes at a time, four to eight times a day for several days. Wrap the ice packs in towels to protect your skin.
  • Reduce swelling. Elevate the affected shin above the level of your heart, at rest and at night. Compression may help also; compress the area with an elastic bandage or compression sleeve.  The sleeve can stimulate circulation and help maintain warmth which miminizes fluid build-up.
  • Take an over-the-counter pain reliever. Try ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen sodium (Aleve) or acetaminophen (Tylenol) to reduce pain and inflammation.
  • Wear proper shoes. Wear shoes with good support that are designed with mid-foot stabilizers to prevent pronation.
  • Consider arch supports. Arch supports can help cushion and relieve stress on your shinbones. More durable arch supports can be custom-made from a plaster cast of your foot, if the OTC ones are not providing relief.

If these simple measures are not providing relief, you should see a podiatrist for a full evaluation and work-up.

If you are looking for a podiatrist in the Bradenton or Sarasota area, please schedule an appointment with Dr. Lasday, Dr. Zdancewicz, or Dr. Goecker for a thorough and professional evaluation, either in their Bradenton Podiatry office or Sarasota Podiatry office.