Shin Splints: What are they? How to treat them?

By Dr. Brian D. Gale DPM, FACFAS
March 28, 2017
Category: sports injuries
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Shin Splints: What are they? How to treat them?

What are shin splints? In layman’s terms it’s the name athletes used to refer to pain along the shin bone. Medial tibial stress syndrome or medial tibial traction periostitis is an accurate medical description of what we like to call shin splints.

Medial tibial stress syndrome is the most common type of shin pain. It is an injury that generally occurs when one increases training too quickly or pushes themselves too hard too soon. Shin splints can also be brought on when the training environment changes. Switching to hard surfaces or running up hills can bring on shin splints. Too much running, sprinting, or jumping are obvious contributors and can increase pain in the shin as well.

Shin splints can be treated at home with a few basic applications. Rest when you can. Ice the shin area with cold therapy and a compression wrap. Do this for 10 minutes every hour. As symptoms improve decrease treatment to 3 or 4 times a day.

Other possible treatments include getting proper footwear. The right shoes can do a lot for your feet. Adding a heel lift or looking into custom orthotics can help prevent shin splints. It’s important to strengthen the area as well. Calf raises will help strengthen part of the area but we also need to strengthen the front in an effort to avoid muscle imbalance.

If symptoms don’t improve you may have a more serious issue. If you have an interest in proper footwear or custom orthotics Contact Us at Our Bismarck Office to schedule an appointment with Dr. Brian Gale, DPM, FACFAS