Shin splints or medial tibial stress syndrome is a common overuse injury among new runners. Shin splints can occur if you do not start off slow and gradually work your way up to running longer distances at a faster speed. This condition can also be caused by flat feet or wearing shoes that do not provide enough support. If you have shin splints, our sports medicine podiatrist can recommend treatment options based on your specific needs and activity level. Proper treatment can provide relief and will often prevent shin splints from recurring.
Diagnosing and Treating Shin Splints
Shin splints are caused by inflammation of the tissue that attaches muscle to bone in the lower leg. For some patients, the pain may be accompanied by swelling and a sharp or dull pain in the front of the legs and may be worse during and after exercise or running. This condition typically heals on its own by resting.
To diagnose shin splints, our sports medicine podiatrist will need to rule out other causes for the pain, which could include tendonitis, sprains, or even a stress fracture. After a physical exam, your podiatrist may order imaging tests such as an X-ray and do a gait analysis.
In addition to rest, our sports medicine podiatrist may recommend the following treatment options for shin splints:
- Ice. Ice can be applied to the front of the legs to help reduce swelling and pain. Use ice for 20 minutes every four hours until you feel relief.
- Custom orthotics. Custom orthotics can be worn inside your shoes to provide arch support and extra cushioning.
- Shoes. Specific types of shoes can be recommended based on your gait and foot structure.
- Medication. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory pain medication can be used to help provide relief and reduce swelling.
- Physical therapy. Physical therapy can help strengthen and stretch the muscles in your lower legs to reduce shin splint pain and prevent it from recurring.
Time to Contact Our Proven Sports Medicine Podiatrist
If you are suffering from shin splints, contact our sports medicine podiatrist at Alliance Foot & Ankle Specialists for a consultation. To schedule an appointment in our Grapevine or Keller office, fill out our convenient online contact form, or give us a call at 817.481.4000 today.