You usually don’t think about your shins until they hurt, right? And by then, you could be looking at some major downtime. Also, known as medial tibial stress syndrome, “Shin splints” is a general term for a condition caused by inflammation to the anterior or posterior muscles and tendons in the lower leg or adjacent soft tissue along the shin bone (tibia). Shin splints often occur when your legs are overworked. Sometimes your shins pick up the slack for body parts that are weak. Whoever has experienced the pain of shin splints knows the frustration in dealing with this common overuse injury.
It is a common term which can include a number of diagnoses or causes, and is not an actual injury or diagnosis by itself. It is the name athletes often give to pain along the inside of the shinbone. Medial tibial stress syndrome or medial tibial traction periostitis is a more accurate description of what is usually going on.
The muscles of the lower leg pull on the periosteum, or the sheath surrounding the shin, causing pain and inflammation. This is actually an overuse injury resulting from increasing running mileage too quickly, excessive training on hard surfaces and running on your toes as in sprinting repetitions.
Symptoms often come on gradually and consist of pain over the inside lower part of the tibia or shin. There may be pain at the start of exercise which often eases as the session continues, only to come back worse later in the training session or afterwards.
Treating shin splints involves reducing pain and inflammation, identifying and correcting training errors and biomechanical problems and restoring muscles to their original condition through stretching, exercises and massage.
If you suffer from shin splints or pain in your lower legs, call the Auto & Work Injury Walk-in Clinic at 210-342-2777, or request an appointment online.
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