Shin splints

  • Pain or tenderness around the tibia or shinbone
  • Symptoms may include mild to severe pain in lower leg worsened during activity
  • Cause unknown but may be due to overuse, repetitive activity or improper running technique
  • Cannot be spread from person to person
  • Affects males and females
  • Can occur at any age but most commonly seen in athletes
  • May be mild to severe if left untreated
  • Typically subsides with rest

GENERAL THERAPY

  • Rest affected limb
  • Apply ice to shin for 15 to 20 minutes, 4 to 8 times a day for several days
  • Elevate the affected limb above the heart
  • May take from 3 to 6 months to heal
  • Do strength training while working out
  • Consult with Physical Therapist for range of motion exercises

 

Over-the-counter cough medicine (refer to manufacturer’s recommendations for dosage):

  • Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs):
    • Ibuprofen
    • Naproxen
    • Aspirin

 

PRECAUTIONS AND AVOIDANCES

  • Avoid any activity that causes pain, discomfort or swelling
  • Try doing low-impact exercises
  • Arch supports to help with flat feet
  • Wear shoes the suit your sport
  • Use of neoprene sleeve for support and warmth of leg
  • Do not rush back into sports
  • Warm up before sports; stretch the leg muscles
  • As soon as you feel pain, stop working out
  • Avoid playing on concrete or hard surfaces

 

SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION IF:

  • The home care does not help ease the pain
  • Your shins are hot and inflamed and the swelling is worse
  • The pain persists while resting

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If you are not feeling well or are uncertain about a healthcare condition, see a doctor. It could save your life.

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