by: Lisa Truesdale
You may not have ever heard anyone utter these words, but you may have heard them say “Ouch, I have shin splints!” (Or you may have said it yourself.)
Whatever you choose to call them, they HURT. “Shin splints” is a pretty general term for pain along the shin—the front of the lower leg—and sometimes for all types of pain in the lower leg. Shin splints are characterized by tenderness, soreness, and swelling, and they happen when the muscles, tendons, and bones become overworked, or when actual tiny stress fractures occur in the shin bone.
Shin splints are commonly caused by repetitive stress on the shin bone and the tissues that connect the muscles to the bone. They often happen to participants of sports that are played on a hard surface and require lots of sudden stops and starts, like tennis or basketball. They also happen to dancers and to runners, especially those who run on different types of surfaces, switching from one to another (like sidewalk to asphalt) during their training, or running on uneven terrain, like hills. Those with flat feet or unusually high arches are especially prone to this type of pain.
Luckily, there are easy and effective ways for dealing with shin splints. If you find yourself wincing from shin pain after a workout, try these tips:
To prevent shin splints in the first place, try these tips:
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