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Spring Clinic

2616 Farm to Market 2920,
Spring, TX, 77388

Downtown Houston Clinic

6550 Fannin Street
Houston, TX, 77030

Shin Splints Symptoms and Treatment

Shin Splints are pain in the front of the lower leg along the “shin bone” and slightly to the outside in the muscle group. They vary in severity from a dull ache to severe pain. Their origin can also vary from a “crack” or stress fracture in the bone to a slight strain or separation of the muscle attachment. They are an overuse syndrome that progresses into an injury most commonly from jogging or running with improper shoe gear and hard or variable surfaces (asphalt, cement, grass, dirt). All injuries especially ones where a fracture is suspected need to be evaluated by a physician with standard x-rays taken or other advanced testing.

Treatment of shin-splints

TREATMENT FOR SHIN SPLINTS

No surgery is usually required for this condition. Plaster casting technique for the construction of custom molded orthotic arch supports. New technology with optical sensors or foam molds where the patient steps down to make their foot impression can produce a good orthotic product.

Over the years, the plaster molding has given more consistent and precise custom orthotic devices for my patients. If it is a thinner dress orthotic for my female patients low to high heel shoes, or work / sport orthotics constructed for durability with the appropriate flexibility, this orthotic molding technique with the patient non weight bearing, insures that the orthotic device will be constructed in the correct, ‘neutral’ position.

COMPARTMENT SYNDROME – A very serious condition

There is another very serious condition associated with pain in front of the lower leg.  This is described as severe pain, with paresthesia’s (tingling), temporary lack of blood supply, and possible muscle damage or even paralysis.  Recommended testing is a pressure analysis of the leg muscle group.

The procedure of choice if simple rest does not stop these symptoms is a surgical release of the pressure.

SHIN SPINTS: MAINTENANCE Care

Weight Bearing:

Stress fractures and muscle strains need protection from motion and ground forces. Keeping pressure off the area is the best way to minimize a more serious situation like separation of the fracture. Crutches, walkers, wheel chairs and strollers are helpful.

Rest:

Rest: Crutches and non-weight bearing on the affected leg for 1 to 3 weeks is the best care for this kind of overuse syndrome or injury, but a simple decrease in activities may relieve symptoms. Avoid bare feet and shoes without support (sandals, flip-flops, house shoes, etc.).

Stretching:

Stretching: Static stretching at the ankle upward and downward holding those positions for 10 seconds each for 3 sets every day will help speed recovery and reoccurrence.

Medication:

Medication: Anti-inflammatory medication can help with the chronic pain, but are not much help with the acute pain.

Arch Support:

Arch Support: Temporary arch supports or supportive athletic shoes will support the foot and ankle in a more inverted position. This will put less strain on the injured area and decrease the incidence of reinjury when returning to activities or exercise. Custom molded orthotics are the best solution for immediate and long term treatment.

Physical Therapy:

P.T.: Examples of physical therapy include massage, cold therapy, contrast baths, stretching, ultrasound, and electric stimulation.

Physical Therapy / Shin Splints Exercise

P.T.: Examples of physical therapy include massage, cold therapy, contrast baths, stretching, ultrasound, and electric stimulation.

RELATED ARTICLES AND INFORMATION

WebMD Logo

What are Shin Splints?

CLICK HERE FOR FULL ARTICLE

PubMed Logo

Treatment of Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome

CLICK HERE FOR FULL ARTICLE

AOFAS Logo

AOFAS Article: How to select running shoes

CLICK HERE FOR FULL ARTICLE

These are links to more information on the subject, not intended to imply an endorsement.

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