What Are Shin Splints?
Shin splints are very common. Many runners get shin splints after they amp up the intensity of their workout or change the surface that they run on, perhaps from a dirt path or treadmill to asphalt. They also occur quite commonly in dancers.
With shin splints, your shins start to throb and ache whether you were going for your daily run or simply sprinting to catch the bus. Shin splints are typically caused by irritated and swollen muscles, stress fractures, and “flat feet,” where the impact of a step causes the arch of your foot to collapse.
Treating Your Shin Splints
Shin splints tend to heal on their own with time and rest. However, if you visit Trinity Orthopedics in Fort Worth, you can expect a thorough examination to ensure that you and the doctor alike know exactly what you’re dealing with. You may need x-rays or scans to check for fractures, and the doctor might even ask to see you run. If it does turn out that you have shin splints, your treatment may involve any of the following.
- Icing your shins
- Arch supports in your shoes
- Anti-inflammatory medicine
- Motion exercises
- Physical therapy
More severe cases, usually involving a much harsher fracture, might require surgery, but this is quite rare.
How Do I Know My Shin Splints Have Healed?
There’s no way to tell exactly when your shin splints will go away because it depends on what’s causing them, and people always heal at different rates. Good signs that your legs are better, include:
- The injured leg is as flexible as the other.
- It’s as strong as the other leg.
- You can jog, jump, and sprint without pain.
- The x-rays are normal or show fractures have healed.
It’s important that you don’t rush back into your routine, whether it’s sports or exercise. Starting to exercise before your shin splints have healed may result in hurting yourself permanently. Try replacing it with a no-impact activity, such as swimming.
Preventing Shin Splints
In order to prevent shin splints, you can wear shoes with good support and padding, warm up before working out, stop working out as soon as the pain starts, avoid running or playing on hard surfaces.
Our doctors are very knowledgeable and can help you with any advice you might need whether it’s related to your joints, body, or pain. Our physical therapists can help show you proper stretches and exercises to strengthen your legs and stave off injuries like shin splints.