Description, Causes and Risk Factors:
Shin splints, also called medial tibial stress syndrome (MTSS), is an overuse injury of the lower leg. It is caused by overuse of the lower leg muscles (calf, posterior tibial and ?exor muscles of the toes). These muscles are important in maintaining your balance during standing, running and jumping. They attach to the shin (tibia) and repeated traction pulls at the attachment leading to in?ammation of the periosteum: the ?brous layer that surrounds the bone.
Shin splints have two main causes:
Excessive impact on the muscle.
Exerting excessive pressure on the lower leg muscles.
Other Risk Factors:
Running on a slanted surfaces or uneven terrain.
Running with inappropriate shoes, including proper shoes than have worn out.
Taking part in sports that include bursts of speed and sudden stops.
An increase in activity, intensity or period of exertion can easily lead to shin splints, if the muscles and tendons struggle to absorb the impact of the shock force, especially when they are tired.
Females have a higher risk of complications from shin splints, e.g. stress fractures, especially if their bone density is diminished, as may occur in osteoporosis.
People with flat feet or rigid arches have a higher risk of developing shin splints.
Four grades of pain can be attributed to shin splints:
Grade two - pain occurs during and after exercise.
Grade three - pain occurs before, during and after exercise, and it affects performance.
Grade four - pain is so severe that exercise cannot be undertaken.
Grade one - pain occurs after exercise.
When you first begin to notice discomfort or pain in the area, you can treat yourself with rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE). Over-the-counter medications may also be used to reduce discomfort and pain.
Signs and Symptoms:
Pain at the start of exercise which often eases as the session continues.
Shin area is tender and sore to touch.
Overlying skin may be red and inflamed.
Pain when the toes or foot are bent downwards.
Lumps/bumps can be felt along the inside of the shin bone.
Pain over the inside lower half of the shin.
The diagnosis of shin splints is founded through a physical examination and review of the individual's medical history. A detailed account of their current training schedule and any recent adjustments made to it, such as increased mileage, is considered. In addition, review of the subject's footwear is also appropriate, considering pes planus is a common cause for shin splints.
Physical examination: focal point is on the shins and legs where local tenderness is noted. The medical practitioner will apply pressure to the foot whilst maneuvering the ankle, so as to identify any points of tenderness. Furthermore, by stretching the tibialis muscles, the doctor can locate the point at which the muscle attaches to the tibia and thus determine the source of the pain.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan may also be undertaken in the diagnosis of shin splints.MRI is primarily a medical imaging technique used to visualize the function and hence internal structure of the body. An MRI scan differentiates between the soft tissues, and therefore scar tissue and abnormal swelling as a result of shin splints.
X-rays or bone scans may be taken so to eliminate stress fractures as the source of pain.Bone scans involve injecting tracers into the blood stream; tracers accumulate in areas of additional stress to bone tissue and show up on x-rays.
The best treatment for shin splints is rest. It is not one of those leg pains that recovers faster with physical activity. In the majority of cases the doctor will recommend two weeks' rest. This means no running or taking part in any kind of sport linked to higher shin splint risk. However, gentle activities, such as cycling, swimming or walking are probably acceptable (check with your doctor or physical therapist).
Raising the leg and applying an ice pack to the affected area can help reduce the swelling.
To alleviate pain, an OTC (over-the-counter) analgesic, such as paracetamol (acetaminophen, Tylenol) or ibuprofen may help. Check with your doctor first.
Other Preventive Measures:
Make sure the insoles are shock-absorbing. If you have flat feet, good insoles are vital.
Avoid hard surfaces, uneven terrain, or slanted slopes.
Increase your intensity gradually.
Make sure you warmed up properly before doing exercise.
Use proper fitting shoes with good support.
NOTE: The above information is for processing purpose. The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition.
DISCLAIMER: This information should not substitute for seeking responsible, professional medical care.
A new study from Harvard University finds that people in a good mood, when feeling happy, seek out for the company of strangers while sad people seek out the company of friends. For the study, a team of researchers kept tabs on more than 30,000 people who were mostly...
Here is the list of nine user-friendly gym machines for women that are intimidated by barbells, bumper plates, and squat racks by Robin Cortez, director of team training for Chuze Fitness, which has clubs in California, Colorado and Arizona: Smith machine — used for...
When it is so hot outside you still can find hundreds of ways to cool yourself and drinking a mocktail is one of them. Here are few wonderful recipes for you to try. Kiwi Sour 1 oz orange juice 3 slices kiwi 0.75 oz demerara green tea syrup 0.75 oz lime juice 1 oz...read more
Many people are motivated for active sports in spring. However, before you buy a membership, you should check which exercises are useful to you and which ones should not be done in any way. Unfortunately, nowadays there are practically no people with an absolutely...read more
In childhood, many of us dreamed of learning to jump high. Now, after years, it became easier - Kangoo Jumps has appeared. This is one of the relatively new, but quickly gaining popularity types of fitness training. There are several advantages of jumpers. ...read more