Shin Splints: Why Do You Have Sharp Pain In Your Shins?

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If sharp pain shoots through your shins every time you lift something heavy, exercise, or even climb stairs, you could have something called shin splints. Shin splints are a painful condition that develops in the bones of the shin. Pain is just one of the symptoms shin splints cause. Don't allow the pain in your shins to ruin your life when you can find solutions for it.

What Are Shin Splints?

Your shinbone (tibia) is one of two unique weight-bearing bones that make up the lower half of your leg. Along with the short bone in your calf (fibula), the shinbone stabilizes and supports the bones in your ankle and the muscles in your calf. If you place excessive physical stress on your shins, inflammation can eventually develop in the muscles, bones, and other tissues that support them. Chiropractors and other specialists refer to this pain as shin splints, or medial tibial stress syndrome.

Shin splints usually affect people who live active lifestyles, such as runners and baseball players. The condition may also affect adults who perform heavy lifting and other strenuous duties that place undue force on the shins, such as construction workers and nursing assistants

Wearing footwear that lacks the right type of insoles and cushions can also cause shin splint pain. Your feet may not have the support they need to carry out your activities. Your shins may work hard to compensate for the lack of shoe support. 

The pain in your shins can subside with rest. But pain that doesn't go away with rest requires professional treatment.

How Do You Stop the Sharp Pain?

A number of specialists treat shin splint pain, including some chiropractors. A chiropractor will generally want to examine your shins to see if you have any other condition that could possibly trigger pain, including bone fractures. Fractured shin bones can exhibit intense pain if they go untreated. A chiropractor will need to take an internal image (X-ray) of your shins to see if they're fractured.

If your shins aren't fractured, a chiropractor will look for signs of muscle and tendon damage. Soft-tissue injuries, such as muscle tears and pulled tendons, can cause great pain to radiate through the shin area. If you don't have any of these possible problems, a chiropractor will treat you for shin splints. 

Shin splint treatment can vary, depending on the specialist. However, some specialists brace their patients' shins to help stabilize them. You may also need to follow a special plan called RICE. RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation) helps the tissues in your shins heal properly.  A chiropractor will give you special instructions or requirements to follow at home during your recovery period. 

If RICE or bracing doesn't help, a chiropractor will ask you to wear orthotics. Orthotics describe different types of insoles, shoe inserts, cushions, and socks that support injured tissues. Orthotics reduce stress on the lower leg region during different activities, including high-impact exercises and heavy lifting. Insoles and shoe inserts protect your shins by absorbing most of the stress and force placed on them during these strenuous activities. 

A chiropractor may also want to schedule you for massage sessions during your treatment. If your muscles and tendons are sore from your ordeal, massage may benefit you. It's a good idea that you continue your sessions as long as a chiropractor deems necessary. If you have any problems with your sessions, consult with a specialist immediately. You may need additional treatments to overcome your pain.

If your shin pain doesn't go away with rest, contact a chiropractor and schedule an evaluation and exam today. To learn more, contact a company like Albany Chiropractic and Physical Therapy.