Podiatrist Northern Virginia: How to Prevent and Treat Shin Splints

What is one of the most common lower-leg pains I see as a podiatrist in Northern Virginia?

High on the list is medial tibial stress syndrome (MTSS), a condition affecting athletic people and those who exercise regularly. Also known as shin splits, this malady manifests as pain occurring in the shin bone – i.e. the large bone in the front of your lower leg.

The ache felt is the result of overusing the muscles, bone tissue, and tendons in the lower leg. Ramping up your workout routine or changing your training schedule can lead to shin splints.

Preventing shin splints

Shin splints can be cumbersome to treat therefore the best recommendation is to try and prevent them. How do you do this?

· Avoid (or limit) repetitive high-impact workouts involving large jumps.
· Invest in running shoes that are compatible with your biomechanics and foot type.
· Alternate your sneakers when training or working out.
· If running on a track, for each new lap, change directions.

Best way to treat shin splints

The fastest way to treat MTSS is to first stop whatever activity you’re doing. Then ice the inflamed area. You can wrap a bag of frozen vegetables on the throbbing area. This tends to be better than an ice pack and will comfort and help reduce swelling.

If the pain is debilitating, eat a little food and then take a prescribed dosage of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).

Foam-rolling and stretching your lower leg is also beneficial in aiding recovery. Here’s a simple stretching exercise: Stand on the edge of a step with one foot and gently lower the heel. Put the foot back to the starting position and alternate both legs.

When you get back to training, use compression socks and shoe inserts to limit stressing tendons and muscles.

For those suffering from chronic shin splints, kinesiology tape is one of the more advanced solutions that can relieve the aching.

Are you worried about a foot or ankle problem?
Do you have any questions regarding the health of your feet or ankles? Dr. Lonny Nodelman, a top podiatrist in Northern Virginia, and the team over at District Foot and Ankle are here to help. Request your appointment today.

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Disclaimer: Any information provided in this blog is not intended to replace medical advice given by qualified professionals.