In the modern world, shin splints have become one of the most common forms of injury involving the feet. Having shin splints can be a very painful experience and it is usually advisable that an individual should seek medical attention as soon as possible.
There are various shin splints treatment regimes available but to better understand the different types of treatment options you have, it is necessary that you have a basic overview of this type of injury.
What are shin splints?
Shin splints are injuries that usually occur on the front of the outer leg. This type of injury specifically affects the posterior peroneal tendon and the surrounding tissue. This type of injury usually results in inflammation coupled with pain.
This type of injury usually comes about as a result of overuse of the posterior peroneal tendon. In view of this, runners and individuals who do a lot of walking are considered as being at a higher risk of developing shin splints.
Causes of shin splints
As stated earlier, shin splints occur as a result of overuse and straining of the posterior peroneal tendons. However, there are some activities that expose this tendon to injuries and to some extent can be considered as causing shin splints. These includeExtreme runningOver-training or exercising on steep slopesPoor biomechanical layout of an individual’s leg, subjecting the posterior peroneal tendons to a lot of tensionUse of inappropriate footwear for athletics.
Overexerting yourself while performing activities involving the posterior peroneal tendons usually causes inflammation of the lower leg muscles that are tasked with lifting the foot. This reduces the ability to effectively lift a leg while running causing the foot to pronate inwards towards the foot arch. By doing this, the posterior peroneal tendons are in essence being subjected to a lot of tension and inadvertly, a chin splint usually results.
Diagnosis of shin splints is usually done through a physical examination but more expensive diagnosis options such as x-rays and MRI scans can also be used
Treatment of shin splints
In the past, a period of total rest was recommended as a remedy for shin splints. However, research and technological advancement has brought up other alternative shin splints treatment routines which when combined with rest can help to speed up the healing process.
These include Ice bags
Ice bags are instrumental in the reduction of pain and swelling in the affected area. You should do this for 20-30 minutes every 3 or 4 hours for a few days.Anti-inflammatory painkillers
The use of anti-inflammatory painkillers is highly recommended for pain management. These drugs include naproxen, iprofen and aspirin. However, these drugs have serious side effects such as the formation of ulcers and increased risk of bleeding and you should consult a physician before taking any of them.
Physical therapy is another alternative form of shin splints treatment. This treatment regime usually requires the services of a certified physiotherapist.
A neoprene sleeve can be worn to support and warm the leg. This is extremely helpful as it minimizes the chances of an injury becoming worse.
By using a certain combination of shin splints treatment, you are assured of getting better within a few weeks.