A Familiar Pain
This recent pandemic has led a lot of people to re-evaluate their health. One thing that a lot of people have turned to over the past year in order to improve health is to begin exercising more. In some, this has led to some injuries. This may be a pain along the front of their lower leg. Most of us know what this means. Shin splints is a very well-known term that indicates some sort of damage to our lower leg. This pain is due to an overworking of the musculature on the anterior portion of the lower leg. Another possibility is too much stress on the tibia, otherwise known as the “shin bone.” Those most at risk are the following:
- Those new to or recently trying high impact activities, such as running.
- People performing activity over uneven or abnormally hard terrain.
- Those with old, worn out, or ill-fitting shoes.
- Those with low or abnormally high arches.
- Those who use poor form in certain activities.
- People with weakness in the ankles, hips or core.
This overwork can lead to problems in the musculature, or can even cause stress fractures of the tibia.
The good news is shin splints may go away on their own if you take time off from the irritating activity and let the problem calm down. The problem comes from when you start the activity again, you may suffer from the same pain.
What can be done?
Many times, the problem can be addressed by simply icing your shins and resting. If you are unable to independently manage the pain in your leg, seek assistance from you physician or physical therapist. A physical therapist is uniquely qualified to address any and all contributing factors. One extremely important factor is footwear. Shoes that fit your specific foot are extremely important. Whether you have high, or low arches, or a normal arch, there is a specific shoe which is correct for your foot. If you have incorrect shoes, this can cause problems. A physical therapist or a local shoe store such as Road Runner or the Arizona Walk Shop can evaluate your gait and make recommendations which shoe is correct for you. This is extremely important.
What can a PT do?
Physical therapists specialize in evaluating and treating all injuries and abnormalities of the musculoskeletal system. A therapist can evaluate your gait, test your strength, and find all problematic aspects which may be causing you issues. If you have questions, make sure to make an appointment to get you back on the road to recovery.
Written by Rod Walker PT