Understanding Shin Splints: Prevention and Treatment Options

Understanding Shin Splints: Prevention and Treatment Options


Understanding Shin Splints: Prevention and Treatment OptionsShin splints, medically known as medial tibial stress syndrome, are a common injury affecting the lower legs. This condition often arises from overuse, particularly in runners, dancers, and military personnel. The pain typically occurs along the inner edge of the shinbone (tibia) and can range from mild discomfort to severe pain. Our team here at Mill Creek Foot & Ankle Clinic is here to provide information on this condition and your options for shin splint treatment.

Can You Avoid Shin Splints?

Yes, shin splints can be prevented with proper care and attention to your body’s signals. Here are some key preventive measures:

  • Proper Footwear: Wearing shoes with good arch support and cushioning can help reduce stress on your shins.
  • Gradual Progression: Increase the intensity and duration of your physical activity gradually. Sudden increases can put excessive strain on your legs.
  • Strength Training: Incorporate exercises that strengthen your calf muscles, such as toe raises and heel drops.
  • Stretching: Regularly stretch your calves and Achilles tendons to maintain flexibility.

How Are Shin Splints Treated?

If you develop shin splints, several treatment options can help alleviate the pain and promote healing:

  • Rest: Give your legs time to heal by avoiding high-impact activities.
  • Ice Therapy: Apply ice packs to the affected area for 15-20 minutes, several times a day, to reduce swelling and pain.
  • Compression: Use compression sleeves or bandages to support your shins and reduce swelling.
  • Elevation: Elevate your legs to reduce swelling.
  • Pain Relief: Over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen can help manage the pain and reduce inflammation.

Why Call a Podiatrist?

While self-care measures can be effective, consulting a podiatrist is the best move for proper diagnosis and treatment. Here’s why:

  • Accurate Diagnosis: A podiatrist can accurately diagnose shin splints and rule out other potential issues like stress fractures.
  • Personalized Treatment Plan: They can create a treatment plan tailored to your specific needs and activity levels.
  • Advanced Treatments: Access to advanced treatments like physical therapy, orthotics, and gait analysis.
  • Prevention Advice: Podiatrists can provide expert advice on preventing future shin splints and other related injuries.

If you’re in the Woodinville area and struggling with shin splints, don’t hesitate to contact Mill Creek Foot & Ankle Clinic. Our experienced team is dedicated to helping you feel your best while walking, running, playing sports, and more. Call us today at (425) 482-6663 for professional shin splint treatment!