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Why Do I Have Shin Splints?

Shin splints1 are experienced by almost all the sportspersons and athletes at some point in their lives. It is the commonest leg injury and is typically seen in runners due to a repetitive nature of the activity. It refers to a pain felt along the border of the shin bone. It is called an overuse injury and is curable as well as preventable.

Why Do I Have Shin Splints?2

As described earlier, shin splints are an overuse injury:

  • You probably have shin splints because you put excessive force on the shin bone, and on the tissues that attach the shin bone to the muscles nearby it. The excessive force can cause swelling of the muscles and they pressurize the shin bone, which leads to a pain and inflammation in the shin bone.
  • You also might have shin splints as a result of stress reaction to tiny little bone fractures.
  • You might also have shin splints due to weak muscles in the thighs or buttocks
  • You might also get shin splints if you have a Flat foot syndrome, an anatomical abnormality
  • You may have shin splints if you use Improper or misguided techniques of physical training
  • You may have shin splints if you are not flexible enough
  • You may get shin splints if you run on an uneven or slanted surface, like downhill
  • You may have shin splints if on concrete like hard surfaces
  • Use of improper shoes for doing the workout or exercise can be the cause of your shin splints
  • If you do sports that have an abrupt stop and start, like soccer, that might be a reason for your shin splints
  • You may have shin splints if you did exercises on an already tired muscles and tendons

Those with flat feet, dancers, athletes etc., are all prone to shin splints because of the nature of their profession. Your shin splints might be due to one of these if you belong to any of these professions.

Symptoms Of Shin Splints3

Shin splints can be different in experience for different people. A pain along the border of the shin bone or tibia is the commonest symptom of shin splints for many people. the area where the pain is most intense may show some swelling. Some say they feel like an aching feeling, which is quite dull in nature. Shin splints usually occur at the inside of the shin bone above the ankle, or at the outside of the shin below the knee. The pain can be very sharp or razor-like or just the opposite- dull and throbbing. The pain usually aggravates for many people, when the sore spot is touched. People can experience pain on both sides of the shin bone. Some people experience muscle pain too. Some people may even feel weakness or numbness in the feet.

In Most of the cases problems usually start after weeks or even months of strenuous exercise. However, some people may experience pain after just one intense exercise or run. A shin splint pain is usually experienced while starting an exercise. Usually the pain disappears in many cases while the exercise continues but comes back with double the impact when you finally stop the activity and take rest. That is the reason for soreness for many people feel when they wake up the next morning.

Diagnosis Of Shin Splints4

A detailed physical examination can diagnose shin splints. Along with that, the physician will also ask for a detailed history of any physical activities that you carry out, and also the techniques that you use to perform those activities. This is usually enough to confirm a diagnosis of shin splints.

Shin splints are an overuse injury of the legs. It is quite common in athletes and sportspersons around the world. You can have shin splints for various reasons. However, it is a curable and preventable condition as well.


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Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:November 26, 2020

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