The term “shin splints” refers to an overuse injury affecting the shin bone/ tibia. It is often associated with vigorous sports or physical activity. Runners are especially prone to shin splints. Over- exercise, flat feet, bad running form, high impact activities and use of wrong type of running shoes can also lead to shin splints.
Common symptoms associated with shin splints are pain along the sides of the tibia and mild swelling.
A thorough analysis of the symptoms, medical history and physical examination can hint shin splints. However additional tests are carried out to rule out other shin problems such as stress fracture, tendinits and chronic exertional compartment syndrome. Cracks in the tibia cause stress fracture. Inflammation in the tendons that connect muscles to bones is the root cause of tenditis. Abnormal increase in the muscle pressure levels leads to chronic exertional compartment syndrome. The symptoms of these shin problems would also be similar to that of shin splints. Thus additional tests are needed to confirm shin splints.
Below mentioned self care measures can heal shin splints. Consult a doctor if these self care measures don't ease your pain.
Surgical treatment is used for very rare cases of shin splints that do not respond to the above mentioned non-surgical treatments.
Follow the tips to prevent shin splints.