Whether you’re new to running or have been running for years, at some point or another you may get sidelined with painful shin splints.
“Shin splints, formally known as medial tibial stress syndrome, are an irritation of the areas of insertion of certain muscle groups onto the tibia or the tissue that connects your tibia and fibula in your lower leg,” said Matthew Brown, MD, a Banner Health orthopedic surgeon who specializes in sports medicine and injuries. “It’s an overuse injury which can cause vague pain in the front of your lower leg(s). It is usually most severe at the start of a run, but often improves with time and distance.”
Although running is one of the biggest culprits, this condition can affect football, soccer and basketball players involved in high impact, repetitive type activity. While shin splints can be successfully treated with exercise modifications, stretching, and proper shoe wear, there are some similar lower leg running injuries that can be confused for shin splints but have much more serious complications.
“Pain to the front of the lower leg is also commonly seen with exercise-induced compartment syndrome, a compression of the blood flow to muscle groups due to tight tissue in the leg, or with stress fractures of the tibia, also commonly seen with runners,” said Dr. Brown.
If you think you’re feeling the symptoms of shin splints, don’t wait until the pain gets worse. Schedule an appointment with a Banner Health expert who can help determine the cause of your pain, get you treated, and back to exercise. Visit bannerhealth.com to learn more.