Shin splints are usually characterized by pain and occasionally swelling anywhere in the lower leg. It is usually associated with the muscles that help the foot to move, when the fibers of these muscles are damaged, shin splints occur. Symptoms include
Any pain or swelling in the lower leg.
Shin splints are usually caused by any sudden or repetitive stress to the lower leg. People who are quite active and use their legs often such as dancers, athletes and aerobic enthusiasts. Joggers who continuously run on hard surfaces will probably suffer from this problem. Other factors which contribute are poor posture and poorly cushioned shoes.
The best ways to relieve the discomfort is to rest your legs, wrap your leg in an elastic bandage to compress the tissues, elevate your legs to help reduce blood pressure and apply ice to the sore area.
If you are planning on jogging or playing any sports try and avoid hard surfaces and wear properly cushioned and supported shoes. It is also a good idea to warm up your muscles by doing stretching exercises before doing any activity.
When to seek further professional advice
If you are suffering from any of the symptoms mentioned above.
Chinese herbalists may apply a poultice of flour, gardenia and wine to help reduce the swelling and to promote healing. A rather helpful massage technique often help relieve the pain. You do this by using the ball of the thumb to alternately press hard and rub lightly on the painful area.
Rest is usually recommended as well as a program of exercise to prevent it from occurring again. You should consult your doctor straight away so as to avoid any complications. He may recommend that you also use crutches so that you keep weight off the injured leg and pain killers to help reduce the pain and inflammation.
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