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Martin Foot & Ankle

What Are Shin Splints, Anyway?

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Shin SplintsThe Lancaster City Red Rose Run will be hitting its 40th year milestone this June 4th, and there’s plenty of time to start training if you want to be a part of it. You will want to start your regimen off gently and slowly build up, however. That’s the best way to prevent sports injuries such as shin splints. Who doesn’t want to avoid… just what happens with shin splints, anyway? The shins don’t actually, you know, splinter, right?

We know that shin splints are caused by doing too much, too quickly when it comes to physical activity, placing repetitive stress on the bone and connective tissues. This causes pain either on the outside or inside of the lower leg.

What exactly a shin splint is, however, is a bit more up in the air. Theories include small tears in the muscle, muscle inflammation, an inflammation of the thin tissue that surrounds the shin one, or some combination of these factors.

Just because you have lower leg pain doesn’t necessarily mean you have shin splints. There are other potential causes that might needed to be considered, including stress fractures and compartment syndrome.

If shin splints is the diagnosis, some of the causes can include overpronation, worn shoes, or excessive stress placed on one leg or hip. The experts at Martin Foot and Ankle can help you discover whether your biomechanics or your running environment are causing you pain. Treatments such as warm-up stretches and custom-made orthotics can help correct abnormal sources of stress and condition your lower limbs to help avoid further pain in the future.

We enjoy treating and aiding athletes of all experience levels. If you need help with consistent pain or other foot and ankle problems, our offices in Hanover, Lancaster, Lititz and York are here for you. Call us at (717) 757-3537 to schedule an appointment at any of our locations.
Dr. Bronwyn Wilke
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