Shin Splints Specialist

Ajitha Nair, DPM, MPH -  - Foot and Ankle Specialist

Propel Foot and Ankle

Ajitha Nair, DPM, MPH

Foot and Ankle Specialist located in Oakland, CA

Shin splints are a common source of lower leg pain, especially among runners, dancers, and active people. Skilled podiatrist Ajitha Nair, DPM, MPH, diagnoses and treats shin splints at her Bay Area practice, Propel Foot and Ankle in Oakland, California. If you suffer from pain along your shinbone, call or book an appointment online today.

Shin Splints Q & A

What are shin splints?

The term shin splints refers to pain along your shinbone (tibia), which is the long bone at the front of your lower leg. The medical name for shin splints is tibial stress syndrome, a condition that involves inflammation of the muscles, tendons, and bone around your tibia.  

What causes shin splints?

Shin splints often occur in athletes, especially after an increase in the frequency, duration, or intensity of a physical activity. The repetitive stress irritates the tissues surrounding your tibia.

Factors that may increase your risk of developing shin splints include:

  • Having flat feet or very high arches
  • Exercising in improper or worn-out shoes
  • Suddenly increases in exercise
  • Running on hard surfaces, like concrete

Runners are particularly susceptible to shin splints, especially new runners who are beginning a training program.

What are the symptoms of shin splints?

Pain along the outer edge of your tibia is the main symptom of shin splints. Pain may occur both during and after exercise and can vary in type from sharp and stabbing to dull and throbbing. You may also notice mild swelling or feel a sore spot along the edge of your shin.

How are shin splints diagnosed?

First, Dr. Nair reviews your symptoms and medical history. Then, she carefully examines your leg and may take imaging tests, like an X-ray or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan to confirm the diagnosis.

Symptoms of shin splints are similar to other problems, like a stress fracture or tendonitis, so an accurate diagnosis is essential for proper treatment.

How are shin splints treated?

After she diagnoses your condition, Dr. Nair develops a personalized treatment plan tailored to your unique needs. Depending on the severity of the shin splints and your current activity level, treatment may include:

  • Rest from the activity that caused shin splints
  • Wearing supportive shoes or custom orthotics
  • Using compression socks or calf sleeves to reduce swelling
  • Taking a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicine

Dr. Nair specializes in running orthotics and is happy to advise you on the best type of athletic shoes for your unique feet.

If you think you may have shin splints, don’t hesitate to call Propel Foot and Ankle or book an appointment online today.