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Lower Leg Pain Becoming An Annoyance
Have you recently regained your necessity to go running, but have a consistent pain aching in your shins? You may be experiencing shin splints, if so. But sometimes some aches and pains become more serious than just an ache or just a pain; it is that time when it is important to understand the difference between shin splints and other more serious conditions.
Shin splints usually arise from overuse and originate in the musculature and tibia in the lower leg. This can come from repetitive dorsiflexion over a period of time. Oftentimes if one does not have properly fitted shoes or large boots that forces them to “carry” them with every step and stresses the anterior tibialis and other anterior muscles. Depending on how long and how serious it has become, individuals can begin to feel numbness, burning, tingling and shooting pains. It is not abnormal for the individual with a “shin injury” to have drop-foot, where they go to lift the foot up to take a step and simply drop the foot effortlessly. It is recommended if you have any of these symptoms, it is important to consult a healthcare professional such as an athletic trainer, physical therapist or physician specialist.
What Could Be Going On?
First off, lets consider your shin pain is only shin splints. Athletes who are beginning vigorous regimens such as football practices or basketball practices will typically report to their athletic trainer “shin pain.” Getting back into these multiple hour long competitions can lead to overuse in these sensitive areas and lead to this pain. Rest and ice can help alleviate the pain and swelling, as well as an anti-inflammatory. Typically within twenty-four to forty-eight hours the pain is relieved and can return to activity lightly and progress further as the pain allows them. Ice and rest is still suggested to continue as needed.
If the pain does not get better or begins to worsen, it is time to consider some alternative conditions. It is important when describing the length of pain you’ve gone through to your healthcare provider so they can make their best-educated decision as to what is actually going on. If you have been experiencing this pain for weeks or even months or years, then we could suggest you may have stress fractures in your tibia. How this can occur is overuse as well, but left untreated for an extended period of time. Say you’ve had “shin splints” for months and the pain does go away as your demanding job has you on your feet performing demanding tasks for hours on end.
Pain isn’t really an option nor is time off, so you push through to the point of no return, as it may seem. A simple x-ray or a bone-scan and an evaluation from a physician can help debunk possible fractures but is an important step in finding out exactly what is going on. If there are micro-fractures, it will be a necessity to take some time off from your demanding schedule. Your doctor may prescribe physical therapy or exercises with your athletic trainer to rehabilitate the injured area, started off first with modalities such as ultrasound has been known to help sustain an environment good for healing bones. Medications may be prescribed as well to help with pain.