Posts for tag: Shin Splints
Anyone who has experienced shin splints can tell you just how painful this seemingly innocuous condition can be. If you are a runner, chances are pretty good that you’ve experienced this issue before. Shin splints are fairly common for athletes and runners and can be so painful that it can affect your daily routine and keep you from your favorite activities.
Why do shin splints happen?
If you are new to running then you may be prone to developing shin splints in the very beginning. This could happen for several reasons:
- You might be taking on a bit more than you can chew when it comes to the intensity or duration of your new exercise routine
- You could have tight calf muscles
- Your shin muscles might actually be weak
- You may have a biomechanical imbalance in your feet (e.g. pronating when you run)
How do you prevent shin splints?
The goal is to protect runners and other athletes from developing shin splints altogether; fortunately, there are a variety of tips that any podiatrist can provide you with to make sure your exercise routine doesn’t leave you icing those aching shins.
Here are some ways to prevent shins splints.
Slow and Steady
While we would all love to suddenly be able to go out there and increase our mileage or intensity of our workouts you can’t expect to go from zero to 60 in a short span of time. Your muscles need time to strengthen. If you drastically increase the intensity or length of your workout then you may leave yourself prone to developing shin splints.
Avoid Hard Surfaces
While pounding the pavement may be your daily routine, if you can avoid this hard surface that will certainly reduce your chances of shin splints. Running already puts stress on the bones, joints, muscles, and ligaments in your legs, so imagine how much more stress occurs when running on asphalt or other hard surfaces? Whenever possible, choose grassy softer terrains and trails.
Choose the Right Shoes
If you’ve had your shoes for more than 300-400 miles then it’s time to kiss them goodbye and get new ones. Running shoes don’t last forever and as the cushioning and support wear out, you are more likely to develop shin splints. Turn to a specialty running store to help you choose the right shoes for your active feet.
Give it a Rest
Your body needs time to recover, no matter how much of an experienced runner you might be. If you are just starting out, it’s important to give your body ample time to recoup. This means trying to limit your running so you aren’t doing so twice in a row. If you are an avid runner you’ll still want to take one or two days off a week to let your body recover.
If shin splints are plaguing you or if you are dealing with foot and ankle problems it’s important that you have a podiatrist by your side to provide you with the treatment you need whenever you need it.
What’s Causing my Leg Pain?
Leg pain and discomfort can knock you off your feet for a variety of reasons, but it should never be ignored. Aching calves, burning legs, numbness in your feet—pain in the lower extremities is a common complaint that might send you to your podiatrist in Fairfax at Family Foot and Ankle Centers. If you are experiencing leg pain, it can be due to an array of reasons including:
Shin Splints. This type of lower leg pain occurs when connective tissues and muscles along the edge of the shin bone become inflamed. You may experience this after running or jumping, especially on hard surfaces due to the repetitive force that overloads muscles and tendons.
Flat Feet. If you suffer from flat feet, and do not have proper orthotics or shoes you can experience leg pain. Due to the outward rotation of the foot and leg, you may begin to feel pain. To treat flat feet, it is important to visit Family Foot and Ankle Centers, Fairfax podiatrist, for proper diagnosis and orthotics.
Sprained Ankle. A fracture or sprain can also cause leg pain. For mild sprains, your Fairfax podiatrist recommends RICE: rest, ice, compression and elevation. For a more severe sprain or fracture, apply ice and visit Family Foot and Ankle Centers immediately.
Diabetic Neuropathy. With diabetes, nerves can be damaged from high blood sugar levels. Diabetes can cause pain in both legs along with numbness and less sensation in lower legs. By visiting your podiatrist in Fairfax you can take charge of your diabetes and protect your feet and legs.
By visiting Family Foot and Ankle Centers, you can prevent leg pain and foot pain. Visit your Fairfax podiatrist today for further diagnosis and treatment options so you can live pain free.
Although a shin splint is commonly used to describe various pains between the ankle and the knee, it actually refers to a specific inflammatory condition of the tibia -- a condition called medial tibial stress syndrome.
A type of "overuse injury" to the legs, the most common causes of shin splints include excessive running, poor conditioning and over-pronation (flattening of the arch). The result is pain in the front or inside of the lower leg that usually gets worse with a sudden increase in distance or intensity of training. Shin splints are a common problem for many runners and athletes. Muscle weakness, non-supportive shoes and overtraining are also contributing factors.
To prevent shin splints, warm up and stretch muscles before starting any work out activity and choose supportive footwear. Begin work outs gradually and avoid over-training. All of these methods will go a long way in helping to prevent many lower leg problems. Conservative treatment for most shin splint pain includes rest, ice, compression and elevation. Strengthening exercises, anti-inflammatory agents and custom foot orthotics may also be recommended to reduce symptoms.
Shin pain isn't always indicative of a shin splint. Lower leg pain may actually signal a more serious problem, including a stress fracture, partial muscle tear and tendonitis, all of which require special treatment. Always seek the professional care of a podiatrist if:
- Severe pain in your shin follows an injury
- Your shin is hot and inflamed
- Swelling in your shin increases
- Shin pain persists during rest
Proper diagnosis of the cause of pain is necessary in order to administer the most appropriate treatment. If you suffer from shin pain, visit Family Foot and Ankle Center for an evaluation and proper treatment.