Located in your lower legs, shin muscles are used to lift your foot up and control movement when your foot comes down. Injury to these muscles or inflammation in the lower legs can result in staggering pain. Commonly caused by normal activities, such as walking or running, pain from a shin splint can be felt on the front outside part of the leg or on the inside of the leg.
Shin Splint Causes
Lacking consensus, healthcare professionals define a shin splint as small tears in the shin muscles or significant inflammation of the muscles. There are two specific types of shin splints. Anterior shin splints are defined as lower leg pain emitting from the front outside part of the leg and medial shin splints are defined as lower leg pain radiating from the inside of the leg.
Generally, a shin injury is caused by the overuse of shin muscles. Often plaguing novice athletes and running beginners, lower leg pain results from new, intense stress on the legs. Worn shoes and inadequate stretching before sports or exercise are two additional causes.
Shin Splint Treatments
Prior to meeting with a physician, physical therapist, or other healthcare professional, the recommended at-home healing method is to rest, ice the injury, and medicate yourself with anti-inflammatories. Once you can gain access to a healthcare worker, your injuries will be evaluated. Post-evaluation, a treatment program will be created.
To aid the recovery process, a variety of physical therapy treatments are available. Stretching and strengthening exercises, deep tissue massages, and modifying exercise techniques are all common methods used to treat a shin splint. Depending on the severity of the shin injury, further medical attention may be needed, including x-rays, pressure testing, and scans.
Causing pain and inflammation, shin splints rarely disappear on their own. Proper assessment and advice will help speed up your recovery and prevent further injury. Immediately contacting trained healthcare professionals post-injury is crucial to an effective and efficient recovery process.