What are Shin Splints?
Shin splints, also known as medial tibial stress syndrome (MTSS), is the pain felt between the ankle and the knee, or along the front of the shin. This occurs when the muscles, joints, and bones experience repetitive stress over continued period of time, preventing the body from healing the damaged muscles completely before more stress.
This causes severe pain, enough to force an individual to discontinue any physical activity. Those who regularly exercise or play sports such as basketball, soccer, and tennis may experience shin splints.
Shin Splints Symptoms
Symptoms of shin splints generally include:
– Muscle pain
– Pain that only occurs during exercise or sports
– A dull ache or sharp, continued stinging along the front of the leg from the knee to the ankle
– Swelling in the shin
– A feeling of numbness in the feet
– Reoccurring pain in the shin even during rest periods
Shin Splints Causes
Too much force in a short amount of time applied on the shine bone can damage the muscles and tissues surrounding it. If the leg isn’t given time to properly heal between sessions of exercise or physical activity, the muscle will continue to swell, forcing painful pressure directly on the bone.
Bone fractures can also lead to the symptoms of shin splints. When legs are constantly pounding against the ground (such as in daily running activities), these cause tiny cracks in the leg bones, which continue to worsen if not given the time to heal.
How are Shin Splints treated?
The best way to cure shin splints is to rest and give your legs the time it needs to repair the damage and build up the muscle. The suggested rest time for those experiencing shin splints is about two weeks. If you must exercise, then try not to engage in exercises that involve pounding your legs on a surface, such as swimming or upper body training.