Whether you're an athlete, a dancer, or someone who regularly walks miles of city blocks on foot each week in a pair of flip flops, the agony of shin splints spares no man or woman. However, with a few simple precautions and modifications, shin splints can usually be prevented.
What are Shin Splints?
Officially known as medial tibial stress syndrome, they result from stress and over-exertion of the muscles and tendons surrounding the tibia (shin bone). While anyone can suffer from shin splints, particularly after intensifying or changing a workout routine or regular physical activity, they are especially common among runners, people undergoing military training, people who play sports on hard or uneven surfaces with frequent stops and starts (like basketball), and people who have flat feet or higher arches.
Brooksville, FL, based podiatrist Dr. Charles Chapel recommends a few practical tips to help prevent shin splints:
Support your feet - While it might be tempting to buy the latest pair of Nikes or Asics in your favorite color, athletic footwear is designed to provide adequate support to the feet and ankles during physical training and activity. The wrong pair of shoes can not only cause shin splints, they can also increase the risk of other injuries like stress fractures. Not sure what type of shoe is best for you? Most sporting goods stores offer a gait analysis to determine the necessary level of support and best type of shoe for your particular needs. If you overpronate or have low arches, additional arch supports may also be useful.
Cross and strength train - Diversifying physical activity can help to ease pressure on the tibia. Strengthening the muscles and core can help to prevent injuries.
Treating Shin Splints
Conservative treatments like rest, ice, and over the counter pain relievers like Advil, Tylenol, Motrin, an Aleve typically help to ease the pain of split shins. Easing back into regular physical activities slowly, and engaging in low-impact exercises like swimming or cycling while the pain subsides is recommended while recovering from shin splints. If the pain and soreness do not respond to rest, schedule an appointment with a podiatrist to rule out an injury like a stress fracture.
Contact a podiatrist in Brooksville, FL
Are you needlessly suffering from heel or foot pain? Contact Dr. Charles Chapel at Chapel Podiatry in Brooksville by calling 352-684-1444 to schedule an appointment today!