Shin Splints consists in a throbbing pain in the shin caused by injury to the posterior peroneal tendon. The consequent inflammation arises in the front or inside section of the shin bone. Frequently, shin pain in athletes is caused by intense physical activity such as running or jumping; shin pain in athletes often needs a long period of time to heal.
Shin Splints: Symptoms
Common shin splint symptoms include inflammation and/or soreness around the shin area, especially after running or walking for long distances. The pain typically presents itself at the beginning of the workout, then lessens slightly, and reappears when settling into rest. It is common for shin splints in athletes to occur in people who have just started to get involved in running, walking, or sports activities.
Common Causes of Shin Splints
The most common cause of shin pain in athletes is severe stretching of the muscles and tendons adjacent to the shin bones, which are the tibia and the fibula. Overuse of these muscles by athletes and runners is the most common factor for this condition. Other causes for shin pain in athletes can also be due to excessive use of the anterior tibialis muscle in the front of the leg, along the outside front of the shin bones.
Excessive pronation of the feet is often a significant contributor to shin pain in athletes. Excessive pronation causes internal rotation of the tibia and amplifies the tractional forces on the muscles and ligaments in the lower leg.
Shin Pain In Runners: Treatment and Relief
For the short term, rest is required to help alleviate shin pain in athletes. Running and other strenuous activities should be minimized until the condition is controlled. Shin splints can frequently be prevented by warming up before intense physical activity. It is of utmost importance for athletes and runners to steadily build up their activity level, and always go through a proper warm-up before abrupt or excessive exercise. A change in running style to reduce stride length and softening your heel strike can also contribute to a reduction of shin pain in the long term.
Using suitable footwear is also an effective way to prevent and reduce the pain associated with shin splints, especially for athletes who use a heavy heel strike. It is important that running shoes with proper rear foot stability be used whenever possible. Additionally, running shoe orthotics are useful by helping to correct over pronation and cushioning the heels, thus reducing the impact while assisting with heel stability.
Runners and other athletes need to constantly engage in proper foot health care in order to stay in top performance shape.