Shin splint1 is a self-limiting condition provided proper rest and icing is done on the affected tissue. Further, customized footwear and exercise techniques are also available to manage the condition. In some cases, the doctor’s advice should be taken.
Should I Go To The Doctor For Shin Splints?2
The patient of the shin splint should visit the doctor as soon as possible to avoid the possibility of further damage and to recover from the shin splint through the medicines and exercised advised by the doctor. Also, if the cause of the pain is other than the shin splints, the reason can also be diagnosed. The shin splints are diagnosed3 by the doctor on the basis of medical history and routine of the patient. Further, the doctor may also advise X-ray to properly diagnose the disease. Arch, high or low may also be the cause of the pain in muscles. Severe pain is also caused by stress fractures. The treatment can be done by the patient at home, but the following is the situation when the patient must visit the doctor in order to avoid any further damage:
Chronic Pain: Generally, the pain of the shin splints disappears by rest or by icing the affected muscle. The pain can also be treated with the exercise regimen specifically designed for shin splints. If the pain does not subside by the home remedies for shin splints, the patient should visit the doctor.
Inability To Walk: As shin splints affect the anterior and posterior muscles of the tibia, thus the patient has difficulty in walking. If the walking or mobility of the patient is severely affected, he should visit the doctor.
Inability To Perform Routine Tasks: If the pain of the shin splints is too severe and does not go away with resting, it will hamper the performance of the routine task. In such a condition, the patient should visit the doctor.
Pain Getting Worse: If the pain in the legs and related muscles does not go away and is worsening, the patient should visit the doctor as the chances are high that the pain may be due to the stress fracture.
Stress Fracture:4 If the pain and inflammation in the legs are severe, the patient should visit the doctor for proper diagnosing the problem as it may be due to the stress fracture.
Shin splints, if properly managed, are not a severe condition and the patient can become comfortable by following general measures. The important measures followed by the patient during shin splints are as follows:
Anti-Inflammatory Drugs: Shin splints cause pain and inflammation in the affected muscles. Various drugs such as NSAID or other anti-inflammatory drugs can be used to manage the symptoms of shin splints.
Exercise: Exercise is also an important technique to get rid of the shin splints also prevent their occurrence in the future. Various exercises are used such as raising the calf, raising hope; shin resistance exercise, low ankle stretches, and toe stretches. These are simple exercises and can be done with ease.
Supplementation: Various supplements provide strength to the muscles and prevent them from developing shin splints. The supplements include calcium supplement, vitamin supplement, and protein supplement.
Resting: As the shin splints are due to chronic and repeated trauma on the leg muscles, more specifically tibia muscles, resting is the best management technique for shin splints. Resting is done for at least 2-3 days and the affected tissue should be kept at reduced stress.
Warming Muscles: Prior to getting ready for any exercise, running, walking or playing any sport, the muscles should be warmed up otherwise the chances of developing shin splints are higher. The risk is even higher in patients having a history of shin splints.
Surgery: In some patients, whose pain and inflammation are not treated with non-invasive measures, surgery is generally recommended.
Customized Footwear: Flat foot and improper footwear delay the treatment of shin splints. Customized footwear helps increase the recovery from shin splints.
The patient should visit the doctor in condition with chronic pain, worsening pain and inability to perform a routine task. Further, the patient should visit the doctor when the patient has reduced mobility due to shin splints.