Whether you’re running errands or running laps, the sharp pains of shin splints can upset and sideline you for weeks.

Medial tibial stress syndrome, or shin splints, is an umbrella term for the pain experienced along the tibia. When excessive pressure is placed on the muscles and tendons surrounding the bone, the tissue swells and diffuses pain along the inside of the shin.

Though compact, the calf muscles absorb considerable force during high-impact activities, such as running and jumping. For this reason, shin splints are common among runners and athletes but can affect anyone who power walks or wears poor-supportive shoes.

People who experience shin splints describe their symptoms as tender-to-the-touch aching on either side of the shin bone. This dull, throbbing pain often appears during or following exercise. Over time and left untreated, chronic shin splint pain will leave the leg fatigued and feeling numb.

Causes and Fixes

Shin splints are the result of repeatedly overloading the lower leg muscles. Know the risk factors and preventative fixes to reverse and protect yourself from shin splints:

Form

Over pronation, over supination, and over striding are some faulty foot patterns that can factor into developing shin splints. For runners, pain often develops in their dominant leg that most absorbs the stride. Analyze your movements to eliminate any defective biomechanics and consider corrective orthotic inserts to improve and lessen your risk of injury.

Footwear

For flat-footed individuals or those who choose pavement-pounding sports, inadequate footwear can quickly burn through and begin straining the tibia. Consider buying arch supports and shock-absorbing insoles as a shin buffer.

Speed

Shin splints often emerge when increasing training intensity too quickly. Additionally, unstable surfaces or hills can further tax the joints. Instead, gradually introduce your body to the speed and terrain of a new routine.

Stiffness

Poor flexibility around the ankle can stress the soft tissue along the calf muscles. Combat rigid muscles with calf stretching, foam rolling, and strength exercises to stabilize your joints for high-impact activities.

Treatment

Because shin splints are the result of overuse, a period of rest is required, though the length varies by individual and severity of the injury. For some, simply substituting or supplementing lower-impact activities will allow the legs to heal. In more severe cases, completely abstaining from exercise may be required to resolve a shin splint injury.

Reduce your recovery time by visiting Airrosti. Our Providers will accurately diagnose the source of your shin pain, educate you on preventative exercises, and get you back to running, full speed and pain free.