Shin Splints

Let’s take a look at shin splints.

Shin splints are common in people who do a lot of springing on the balls of their feet, such as runners, tennis players and fell-walkers. They aren’t usually serious, but can stop you from exercising and may get worse if you ignore them; it’s important not to run through the pain. They can usually be treated at home by following the POLICE protocol, and should start to get better within a week or two.

Shin Splints typically present with dull, diffuse pain in the inside front of the shin, which comes on during activity; which may be tender to touch. There may also be some muscle tightness, or loss of flexibility at the ankle. Although mild swelling sometimes occurs, notable swelling of the lower leg, numbness, weakness and discolouration are not associated with shin splints and should prompt evaluation for other disorders, such as compartment syndrome.

Shin splints tend to come on with people who have recently increased their training, whilst those who over-pronate the ankle, have flat feet, or a leg length inequality are also susceptible. Running on hard, or uneven surfaces can also aggravate this condition, as can wearing older shoes which have lost their cushioning.

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