20 Nov Avoid Complications – Find the Best Treatment for Shin Splints
Shin splints are a painful condition that impacts the front of the leg between the ankle and knee and pain is usually worse at the lower part of the leg. Pain typically occurs when the muscle which controls the upward movement of the foot is sprained. Often, this condition affects those in athletic pursuits. The best treatment for shin splints in the first instance is rest and to take medication such as an over the counter anti-inflammatory treatment to ease swelling or to reduce pain. Although common, shin splints should not be ignored, by doing so, progressive damage to the muscle may occur and this is especially true if there is swelling. A stress fracture may also occur.
The pain often comes on slowly over a period of time. It typically starts at the inside lower aspect of the tibia and will be more painful at the start of any exercise session, dissipating a little throughout but, the pain will increase when it returns following training. Pain is often worse first thing in the morning following a training session, but pain levels are likely to fluctuate. It is possible to locate lumps or swellings along the bone particularly in those cases which are more chronic as this is where new bone growth occurs following repeated trauma to this area. An accurate diagnosis is paramount to ensure that there is no tibia stress fracture, popliteal artery entrapment or chronic compartment syndrome.
Biomechanical factors are a likely cause where there is overpronation and this is when the foot rolls inwards leading to a flattening of the arch, adding stress to the soft tissue. If the individual has tight calf muscles, this can also lead to shin pain. Over-supination is also possible. This is where the foot rolls outwards while in contact with the ground. This is another biomechanical issue which would have to be investigated. It may be necessary to wear corrective orthotic inserts in shoes. Inadequate footwear is also responsible for this type of pain as they may have lost their cushioning and so, there is little shock absorption. Running extensively without gradually increasing and over-use causes a traction force on the bone sheath and equally, poor flexibility can increase stress.
Shin splints treatment include rest, alleviating pain and inflammation through ice and compression. A compression wrap applied for ten minutes every hour is advisable and this can then be reduced gradually. Treatment must also include observation and analysis, determining biomechanical issues and the identification and correction of any training errors which could result in shin splints. Protecting the area is also paramount so to keep the muscles warm and training programs may have to be corrected during the healing process.
For maximum healing potential, seek advice from the Foot & Ankle Center Arizona where a full rehabilitation of exercise, analysis and/or orthotic insoles can be prescribed to help correct any biomechanical issues. Sports massage can also be useful as it will help to reduce any tension within the lower leg muscles as this could be causing traction on the actual bone. The removal of lumps and bumps along the shin bone is also likely to encourage blood flow. For more information, visit the Oasis Foot Ankle professionals.