Shin splints, also called tibial stress syndrome, refers to the pain along the shin bone or tibia, the large bone in the front of the lower leg. It is common in runners who do so much too soon and pain is usually felt by the person along the inner edge of the shin bone. Since the condition involves pain as one of its symptoms, it may affect a person’s movement and activities of daily living. The following are the causes, signs and symptoms, and home remedies for shin splints.
The causes of shin splints are not yet fully understood, as per Medical News Today; however, it involves various issues. While this remains the status on the condition’s causes, shin splints is associated with repetitive activities that place stress on the shin bone, along with the connective tissues that connect the muscles to the bone. Some theories also claim that such stress lead to tibial connective tissue inflammation; the condition is termed periostitis. Tibial injuries are also common associations and these include tendinopathy, a tendon disease; periosteal remodeling, bone growth and regeneration; and muscle dysfunction, which may involve the tibialis posterior (inside of the ankle), tibialis anterior (running long the foot and big toe), and the soleus or the lower calf.
Signs and Symptoms
Shin splints presents several signs and symptoms. According to Health Line, these include a dull pain in the front part of the lower leg, pain the progresses during exercise, pain felt on either side of the shin bone, muscle pain, pain along the inner part of the lower leg, tenderness or soreness along the inner part of the lower leg, mild swelling in the lower leg, and numbness and weakness in the feet. As per the publication, it is important to see the doctor if severe pain in the shin after a fall or accident is felt, the shin feels hot and is visibly inflamed, the swelling in the area worsens, and pain is still felt even when at rest.
Shin splints may be prescribed with pain relievers, such as over-the-counter agents like acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and naproxen sodium. Nonetheless, remedies can still be done at home to help manage the condition.
One remedy for shin splints is rest, for this helps the affected area recover and regain strength. According to Mayo Clinic, activities that lead to discomfort, pain, and swelling should be avoided; however, the person should not stop from doing physical activities. As per the publication, low-impact exercises like cycling, water running, and swimming are allowed.
Another remedy for shin splints is cold therapy, since it helps reduce pain and swelling. According to Style Craze, ice always works for the condition and they can be placed on top of the shins for 15 to 20 minutes for four to eight times a day. Ice cubes can also be put in a towel and held against the shin until pain is relieved. This remedy will also help enable the person to walk comfortably again.
A person with shin splints may undergo physical therapy, even at home. According to Web MD, this helps identify and treat back and leg concerns that serve as roots of the condition. As per the publication, the physical therapist may also help reduce pain and guide the person recover and regain the strength of the affected area.
Shin splints refers to the pain of the inner edge of the large bone in front of the lower leg and it causes movement restriction and disruption of a person’s daily activities. With this, it is vital to seek medical consult from a doctor to assess the condition, set goals, implement strategies, reinforce health education, and evaluate potential outcomes.