Shin Splints : Types , symptoms , Causes

 Shin Splints

The term Shin Splints is used to describe as the condition in which the front of your lower leg i.e. the region above the ankle and below the knee gets injured. However, exact cause to this disease is not known but Shin splints are believed to occur due to irritation or overuse of the tissues or muscles in the lower leg, displaying the symptoms of stress fracture.

Types of Shin splits

On the basis of medical terminology, Shin Splints are of two different types, anterior shin splints and posterior shin splints. Commonly occurred Shin Splints- Anterior shin splints, is caused due to overuse of the anterior tibia muscle and the Posterior shin splints are caused due to weak or inflamed posterior tibia muscle. In some cases, vigorous exercises can trigger the symptoms of this disease.


Shin Splints symptoms

Main areas of pain

As mentioned above Shin Splints is a painful condition characteristically seen on causing inflammation on the shinbone or tibia. Disease of Shin Splints is all about bringing discomfort and pain on your leg’s outer edge of the mid region. Area of discomfort measures around 10-15 cm i.e. 4-6 inches in length stays for much longer period of time. Pain is often seen during the initial stage of the workout, this pain gradually lowers down, only to reappear by the end of your workout. Symptoms of Shin splint is often describe as a dull discomfort which increases gradually over a period of time.


Other areas of pain

Symptoms of Shin splint is more common among the sort persons or within athletes, in case of severe pain doctors recommend to the athlete to stop with their daily workouts. Shin splints are a common disease caused due to running after a long layoff. In some cases while playing sports such as tennis on a hard surface can trigger the risk factor. Patients with Shin Splints or medial tibial stress syndrome complain on having small amount of swelling over the part of tibia.


Causes of Shin Splints

Till date, doctors are still in dark about the exact cause of shin splints symptoms. However, it is assumed that the inflammation of the tendons, swellings in the bone lining and the muscles occur only after overuse of muscles and repetitive activities. According to NATA athletic trainers, Shin Splints are caused due to relative weakness and an imbalance in between the anterior and the posterior compartment musculature. According to some medical experts, one of the main reasons for causing Shin Splints is forceful and continuous downward flexion of the foot. Stretching done by the anterior muscles of the lower leg increase the risk factor of this disease. Increased intensity of your workout schedule might act as a primary culprit causing Shin Splints. Similarly, weak ankle muscles or Achilles tendon are also prone in the formation of shin splints.


Shin Splints detection

Usually, detection of Shin Splints is done with some examination on the patient. Shin Splints diagnosis is usually made with some careful review on the patient’s history along with physical exam of the shins and legs. In some extreme situation doctors might suggest you to have specialized tests such as bone scans. However, specialized tests are vary costly and is done when the diagnosis is not clear.


Tests for Shin Splints diagnosis

Various other Shin Splints diagnosis includes radiology tests such as bone scan, X-rays or MRI scan. Bone scans helps to detect various bone problems or the possible stress fractures. Patients with Shin Splints or medial tibial stress syndrome might need to perform abnormal bone scan. In order to determine long standing stress fractures, your physician might suggest having a bone scan or x-ray.


Shin Splints treatment

Once you encounter with any of above mentioned symptoms, without any delay just visit your nearby physician for getting your Shin splints treated. Shin Splints treatment is followed by maintaining certain treatment guidelines. Once you are confirmed with Shin Splints, it is important to follow certain rules advised by your doctor. Ice pack message is an excellent method to get an instant relief from inflammation; you can apply ice on the affected area three times a day, for up to 15 minutes. Your doctor will prescribe you with anti-inflammatory medication. In some cases, you can perform rehabilitation or low impact exercises daily. For people with shin splints, swimming and cycling works wonders! Make sure that you stay away form intense workouts or excessive activity.


What are Shin Splints preventive measures?

As said prevention is better than cure! Prevention is followed by smart training. If you are a sport person stick to low impact exercises such as swimming or cycling. Running must be prohibited during Shin Splints. You must gradually increase with duration and intensity of exercise.

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