Risk Factors for Developing Shin Splints

Do your shins hurt after exercise, walking fast to catch up with colleagues, or simply being on your feet all day? If so, you’re not alone. The problem could be shin splints, a condition affecting over 3 million Americans every year. 

At Arlington/Mansfield Foot & Ankle Centers, we understand the frustration and pain shin splints can cause. Our team of expert podiatrists helps our patients in Arlington and Mansfield, Texas, successfully recover from this painful condition. And we want to help you prevent them in the future. 

We’ve curated this helpful guide with information about risk factors for developing shin splints and steps you can take to prevent them. Read on to learn more!

What are shin splints?

Shin splints are a common injury associated with exercise. It gets its name from the location where the pain is felt. It usually affects both legs and develops due to overuse or repetitive stress on the shinbones and tendons, the connective tissue that attaches your muscles to bone. With shin splints, this tissue becomes inflamed and painful with movement.

What are the risk factors for developing shin splints?

While it’s possible for anyone to develop shin splints, certain risk factors increase your chances of developing this painful condition, including:

How can I treat shin splints?

If you suspect you have shin splints, it’s important to get an evaluation from a trained professional, like the expert podiatrists at Arlington/Mansfield Foot & Ankle Centers. 

Your doctor asks about your medical history and the history of your physical activity as well as a full description of your symptoms. 

They’ll also conduct a physical exam to rule out a tibial stress fracture, an overuse injury with similar symptoms. Depending on your symptoms and their severity, your doctor may also order imaging to check for stress fractures. 

Once your diagnosis is confirmed, treatment typically begins with rest from the exercise or activity that triggered your shin splints. Your body needs time to heal. Your doctor may also recommend icing your shins and anti-inflammatory pain killers, like ibuprofen, to alleviate pain and swelling. 

At Arlington/Mansfield Foot & Ankle Centers, we can recommend proper footwear and orthotics as well as physical therapy if required. Once you’ve recovered, our team helps you create a plan to return to exercise the right way to prevent recurring shin splints.     

How can I avoid developing shin splints?

While shin splints are bad news, the good news is there are things you can do to avoid developing shin splints, including:

Ready to learn more about shin splints?

An accurate diagnosis is key to effectively treating shin splints. You may have pain in your shins, but other underlying problems may be exacerbating your symptoms or preventing your bones from healing. 

At Arlington/Mansfield Foot & Ankle Centers, our doctors have the skills and expertise to get you back on your feet faster. Contact the office most convenient for you to schedule a consultation or request an appointment online now!

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