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Shin Splints refer to several generalized pain in the shin that take place in the front of your lower leg, along the tibia or shin bone. The pain usually originates from the outer front area of the lower leg, called anterior shin splint or the back of the lower leg called posterior medial shin splint.
Shin splints (medically known as medial tibial stress syndrome) occur from increasing stress on soleus muscle in your lower leg, where it attaches to the shinbone (tibia). If you continue giving it stress, the posterior tibialis muscle and the connective tissue (periosteum) that covers your shinbone may get irritated and inflamed.
Shin splints typically occur because of overloading on the soft tissues through repetitive trauma from impact activities which lack time for recovery between activity and conditioning.
Shin splints commonly occur in runners and those involved in sports which involve sudden starts and stops including soccer, football, tennis or basketball.
There is no reason to ditch your morning jog or cardio because of the risk of shin splints. In most cases, shin splints can be effectively treated with self-care measures such as rest and ice. Modifying your footwear and exercise routine can also prevent symptoms from recurring.
Shin splints may also take place due to errors in training and routine such as running to fast, too hard or for long periods.
Common signs and symptoms of shin splints include:
During the early stages, the pain may disappear once you stop activity however, as the injury progresses the pain will be continuous.
See a health care provider if self-care measures are ineffective at relieving pain. You may be referred to an orthopedist afterwards.
In most cases, self-care measures should do the trick:
Resume physical activity gradually. If you do not let your shin heal, continuous activity will only result in prolonged pain.
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