Shin splints are used to describe a condition that causes pain and stiffness in the front of the tibia (shin) during and after exercise. Shin splints, also known as medial tibial stress syndrome, can be caused by having flat feet, tightness in the calf, using worn out or improper shoe gear, engaging in improper training techniques or even repetitive activities, such as running or walking. The pain is due to an overuse injury which causes muscles strains of one of two leg muscles: tibialis anterior (pain in the upper outside of shin) or tibialis posterior (pain in the lower inside of shin).
Shin splints is a common complaint amongst athletes, especially in running-based sports, soccer, rugby, and basketball. Sports that involve stopping, starting, and changing direction can place extra stress on the joints, muscles, and ligaments of the feet and legs which can cause or exacerbate shin splints.
In addition to Shin Splints being more prevalent in those engaging in certain sports, other contributing factors include inadequate supporting footwear, abnormal foot biomechanics, running on hard surfaces, a sudden change in intensity of an activity, and/or muscle tightness.
Dr. Schottenstein will help to determine the underlying cause of your shin splints by taking a comprehensive history and performing a physical and biomechanical examination. X-rays will also be taken to rule out the presence of a stress fracture, another common overuse injury. After diagnosing and discussing the causes of the Shin Splints, Dr. Schottenstein will employ a multi-pronged approach to treat the condition and prevent it from occurring again in the future.