Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome, more commonly known as shin splints, is a common problem that causes pain after running or walking. It happens when the shinbone and the tissues that connect it with the muscles become inflamed. This leads to a lot of pain in the lower legs, which is worse when you are active. A lot of different things can cause shin splints and although overuse and heavy impact can be a factor, many underlying issues may need to be treated using custom orthotics.
What Causes Shin Splints?
Shin splints happen when excess stress is put on the shins and connective tissues, which is why it is common in people that do a lot of high-intensity exercises, like running. However, certain people are more prone to shin splints due to abnormalities with the mechanics and anatomy of their feet.
People with flat feet suffer from overpronation, which is when the foot falls inwards as you walk or run. This creates more impact on the shins and increases the chances of shin splints. People with weak ankles, hips, and core muscles are also more likely to develop shin splints because most of the impact is absorbed by the lower legs.
Bad shoes that don’t fit properly or offer enough support will also cause damage and inflammation to the shins.
How To Prevent Shin Splints
If you develop shin splints due to overuse and high-impact exercise, there are some simple ways to prevent them. Resting when you start to notice the pain is important, and you should always make sure to wear the appropriate footwear for your foot type and activity. Stretching properly before and after exercise will help to prevent shin splints too.
When you do get shin splints, you can ice them and take anti-inflammatory painkillers to reduce the pain while they heal. However, if it becomes a consistent problem, you must find ways to treat the underlying problems that are making you more prone to shin splints in the first place.
How Can Shin Splints Be Treated?
Simple preventative measures can help to avoid shin splints and heal them faster but custom orthotics can help address the root of the problem and provide a long term solution. Managing problems like overpronation and other problems with the way that you walk can help to reduce pressure on the shinbone and the surrounding tissue. Custom orthotics will support the arches in your feet so they do not flatten and the foot does not roll inwards. Certain sections can be designed to offer support and redistribute the weight over the base of your foot so the impact of walking and running is absorbed equally. Well-designed custom orthotics will help provide optimal alignment and allow your body to function more efficiently.
We will use our 3D laser mapping software to track the surface of your foot and build a detailed image or we can skillfully manually cast your foot. This will then be used to design custom orthotics that are unique to the base of your foot. By providing the support that you need, these orthotics can prevent common issues like shin splints and help increase performance.
If you experience a lot of pain in your shins, get in touch with Healthy Steps today to find out more about how custom orthotics could help you.