Shin splints are an overuse problem that refers to pain along the shinbone (the tibia). Typically, people experience shin splints during or after exercising. The most common exercise that causes shin splints is running, although it can happen during almost any type of physical activity.
How Do Shin Splints Happen?
Shin splints happen when the muscles and bone tissue around the tibia get inflamed because the muscle, tendons, and bone were overworked. When the body isn’t used to the amount of force or strain you are putting on it, issues like shin splints happen.
It is common to get shin splints not only when you start exercising for the first time but also if you suddenly increase your exercise intensity. For example, someone who runs one mile a day increases his routine to three miles a day. This sudden change in the exercise routine puts pressure on the legs and can cause shin splints. Another example is if someone jogs on a regular basis but suddenly begins to sprint long distances instead. This change in the intensity of the workout can also cause shin splints. Whether you exercise longer or more intensely, if your body is not used to the workout, shin splints can happen.
There are other reasons for shin splints, as well. If you have flat feet or rigid arches, shin splints can occur. Wearing incorrect shoes while working out or exercising the wrong way can also cause shin splints. Make sure to always wear the right gear and exercise the way you are supposed to in order save yourself from wear and tear injuries and issues like shin splints.
What Symptoms Will I Feel?
Individuals with shin splints will experience a few symptoms. Most people with shin splints experience some combination of the symptoms below.
- Swelling – When overworked, it is typical for the muscles and tendon around your tibia to become inflamed and swollen.
- Sharp Pain – A sharp pain experienced during or after exertion due to inflammation of the area.
- Sore to Touch – If touching your shin area is painful, it means the muscles and tendons around the tibia are inflamed.
- Tight Muscles and Ankle Inflexibility – Does your calf muscle feel tight? Does your ankle seem to be less flexible than before? Due to the inflammation and swelling, the calf muscle may be tender and tight, while your ankle loses flexibility.
If you experience these symptoms, it’s a good idea to check with your doctor to see what you can do to alleviate them, or to prevent shin splints from occurring. It’s always a good idea to seek medical attention sooner rather than later.
The experts at Tarpon Orthopedics are sports medicine, spine, and pain specialists. They know the ins and outs of the body as well as what your body needs to thrive. Call (972) 596-1059 to make an appointment today.