How Do I Deal With Shin Splints?

Shin splints is a common condition seen in people who do vigorous physical activities or running, hiking or sports such as tennis or basketball. It is not a serious condition and it usually resolves with rest. Shin splints occur in the front of the leg which is called the shin. Inflammation occur in the shin where the muscles and tendons attach to the bone. Shin splints usually occur when there is a sudden change in the physical activity e.g. suddenly increasing the physical activity duration, severity and frequency.

Sometimes when you first go for physical training also shin splints tends to occur.

How Do I Deal With Shin Splints?

How Do I Deal With Shin Splints?

  • Dealing with shin splints is easy and along with rest you can do some simple home remedies to fasten the healing process.
  • Have rest, stop the activity that caused shin splints
  • Use ice packs
  • Elevate the leg
  • Put an elastic compression bandage
  • Take pain medication for the pain
  • After about two weeks gradually start physical activity with your doctor’s permission.

Let us see what the symptoms of shin splints are so as to understand the treatment according to the symptoms.

Symptoms Of Shin Splints

Shin splints occur suddenly, may be while your engaging in physical activity.

  • Pain
  • A dull pain in the front aspect of your lower leg can increase in severity with continuous exercises
  • Acute pain just as you start doing exercises
  • Pain on either side of the shin bone
  • Pain on the inner aspect of the lower leg
  • Pain reduces with rest but sometimes pain reduces while doing exercises also, sometimes pain becomes constant and may be present even at rest.
  • Pain is felt in a larger part of the shin (not specific spot)
  • Discomfort in the lower leg
  • Mild swelling in the lower leg

If you experience pain in the shin when you do exercises, you need to stop the exercises and rest. If it doesn’t go away, you need to seek medical advice. If you do exercises ignoring the pain it can get worst.

How To Diagnose Shin Splints?

Shin splints can be diagnosed with a complete history and a thorough physical examination. If your doctor has any doubt or if you are not responding to the initial treatment, to rule out other possibilities investigations may be ordered.

There are some other conditions that can cause shin pain such as tendinitis, stress fractures and chronic exertional compartment syndrome.

Tendinitis: Tendinitis is the inflammation of the tendons. Tendons attach muscles to the bone. Tendinitis also can be painful like shin splints especially if there is a tear in the tendon. MRI is needed to diagnose tendinitis.

Stress Fractures: Stress fracture is a fracture in the tibia due to overuse or stress. It can be diagnosed by a x-ray, sometimes bone scan and MRI is needed to diagnose stress fractures.

Chronic Exertional Compartment Syndrome: The symptoms are similar to shin splints, however, it is a rare condition. The pressure within the different muscle compartments in the leg increase to a dangerous level giving rise to chronic exertional compartment syndrome. This is caused by exercise and the pain relives with rest. To diagnose this condition, the pressure within the leg compartment should be checked before and after exercises.

Summary

Shin splints is a common condition seen in people who do vigorous physical activities or running, hiking or sports such as tennis or basketball. It is not a serious condition and it usually resolves with rest. Shin splints occur in the front of the leg which is called the shin. Inflammation occur in the shin where the muscles and tendons attach to the bone. Shin splints usually occur when there is a sudden change in the physical activity. Symptoms are a dull pain in the front aspect of your lower leg can increase in severity with continuous exercises and relieves with rest. Diagnosis can be made by history and physical examination if there is any doubt or if not responding to initial treatment further investigations can be carried out.

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