When you think of the term shin splints, you typically think of pain exclusively in the shins of the legs. This pain is associated with pain after a walk or a run. In reality, this phrase covers a much broader spectrum of injuries than we typically think. A shin splint is really any type of injury that occurs when we overuse the muscles and tendons in our feet. These tendons attach the muscles to the bones, which allows us to use biomechanics to move our bodies. When a patient is plagued with shin splints, it can be very painful and debilitating.
One of the most well-known tendons in our body is the Achilles tendon. This tendon is located on the back of the ankle. It is the largest tendon in our body. When the Achilles Tendon is suffering from pain and inflammation, it is considered to be a type of shin splint because Achilles tendonitis is an overuse injury. Excessive jumping can also cause shin splints. You can stretch your Achilles in order to strengthen it, and to help reduce the potential of it becoming injured at a later time.
Shoes can be a big factor when trying to prevent shin splints. If you wear shoes that are comfortable, provide stability, have support, and fit properly, you are much less likely to suffer from shin splints. Shoes that are restrictive, have narrow toes and sides, and are too loose can cause shin splints.
If you are suffering from shin splints already, you should try to manage the pain. Rest, ice, compress and elevate your feet and ankles. This will help the inflammation go down while the body works to heal the injury. Using over the counter pain medication can also help to manage symptoms of shins splints after consulting with a medical professional.
If you have tried the simple treatments listed at home and are still not experiencing relief, you should call podiatrist Dr. Lawrence J. Kales of Pasco-Hernando Foot & Ankle, located in the nature coast of Florida, immediately. Call 727-868-2128 or make an appointment online. If shin splints are left untreated, they can lead to tears, rips, and other severe injuries that could have a lasting impact on your foot and ankle health.