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