Will Arch Support Fix my Shin Splints?

By Bethany Muni

It’s springtime in Florida, and what better way to celebrate a balmy day with favorable temperatures than with a jog on a trail?  With all the potential miles ready to be run before the heat and humidity really crank up a notch, find out about one of the most common injuries runners can all relate to: shin splints.

beautiful beach running path in florida

What are shin splints?

If you’ve ever had an aching pain along the front-inside area of your lower leg, you may have suffered from a case of shin splints. Generally, the discomfort subsides during a run, only to come back with a greater intensity following it. Shin splints, also known as medial tibial stress syndrome, are the typically the result of overuse and over-training your shin muscles.  The American Medical Association defines shin-splint syndrome as:

 shin splints diagram“pain and discomfort in the leg from repetitive activity on hard surfaces, or due to forceable, excessive use of the foot flexors”

The pain is usually a diffuse ache along the front and inside shin area.  A stress fracture would be more sharp and local pain over a bone.  If the pain becomes chronic (> 3 months) your pain and symptoms may persist at rest.

What causes of shin splints?

  • Lack of proper footwear
  • Training errors- increasing distance, intensity, duration too soon; running on hard, uneven, incline surfaces, over striding
  • Poor biomechanics- heel striking, forefoot striking
  • Inadequate calcium intake
  • Having a previous shin splint injury

So what’s the big deal?

Pain in your body is an alert signal telling you that something isn’t normal. Yes, with a few weeks rest, the pain will deteriorate granted you’ve eliminated the aggravating activity. However, ignoring this injury can eventually lead to a stress fracture and a much longer recovery period.

How do you treat shin splints?

  • REST!  On average maybe 2-6 weeks depending on how severe it is.
  • Ice will be your best friend to reduce the pain and inflammation. An ice massage can be done for 10-20 minutes at a time for a few times icing a shin splint during the day.
  • Cross-training exercises, such as swimming and biking, will keep the stress off of your lower leg and allow you to maintain your cardiovascular endurance to allow proper healing.
  • Once pain has subsided, running recovery program will help guide you to full range motion, great strength, and a guided program to return to 100% pain free running
  • Proper shoe wear that can support your arch and control for shock absorption
  • Remember running injuries occur due to 3 things:  Structural issues, training errors, and biomechanical errors.  Solve the problem that caused your pain is the answer to resolving your shin splints!
  • When you return to running follow the 10% rule:  Don’t increase the workload greater than 10% of the previous week

 Start your running recovery program today and stop being in pain!

BethanyBethany is a current University of Central Florida student who is finishing her undergraduate studies this year and pursuing physical therapy school shortly after.  She is currently participating in an internship at Pursuit Physical Therapy.  Thanks Bethany!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


If you are suffering from shin splints and your pain is not resolving, call now at 407-494-8835 and get a COMPLIMENTARY EVALUATION and start your recovery today!

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