If you are being bothered by shin splints, odds are you’ve been told that RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation) is an optimal treatment method, and it may prove helpful in the short-term. However, if you’d like a more long-term solution, turn to physical therapy. In today’s blog, we take a closer look at how our team can help you overcome shin splints with the help of physical therapy.
What Causes Shin Splints?
The most common cause of shin splints is overstress on your legs. Oftentimes this is caused by too much repetitive activity, like going for a run every day, or by increasing your activity intensity too quickly in too short a period of time. For example, if you don’t physically prepare for the upcoming sports season and you go from limited sporting activity to two-a-day practices, it’s not uncommon for shin splints to develop.
So while we know what causes shin splints, what exactly is happening inside your body when you’re dealing with shin splints? As a result of overuse, the muscle, bone and soft tissues in the shin area can either inflame or develop microtears. These microtears in the tissue can present with a number of different symptoms, but the most common symptoms include:
- Pain with activity/Symptom relief when stopping activity
- Mild swelling
Those symptoms may not sound all that severe, but left untreated, these microtears can grow and turn into a full blown stress fracture or muscle tear, which can knock you off your feet for much longer. If you’re dealing with these symptoms, it’s important to proactively treat the problem so that you can avoid a much bigger problem down the road.