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Athletic Training

Shin Splints

08/30/2010

Question:

I started back walking and I know now that it was to much and too fast too soon. I also have RA so I needed to take it even slow just coming off a big long flare. But I didn`t. Now I got pain when I walk about 4 inches from my ankle and almost straigt down from my toe next to my little toe. It hurts to first walk on it and the more I walk the less pain there is but the pain comes back once I stop walking on it. Is that where you normaly find the pain from shin splints and what is the normal course of treatment?

Answer:

Hello and thank you for your inquiry at Netwellness. Traditionally shin splints or medial tibial stress syndrome (MTSS) occurs a little higher than you are describing and localizes over that medial tibia (shin bone). Common causes for MTSS are tight calf muscles (gastrocnemius and soleus), weak posterior tibialis, and overuse of some sort (running volume and surface).

For the described conditions, common treatments involve stretching, icing after activity, evaluating foot mechanics and possibly modifying activity level/conditions.

A potential cause for your discomfort may be arising from your tibialis anterior and or toe extensors. With activity, these muscles become sore. However, as you progress through activity and the muscle is working through a normal range, the discomfort can subside. You may want to follow up with your physician due to your medical history and to rule out any mechanical and or neurological conditions.

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Response by:

Alex K Wong, MS, ATC Alex K Wong, MS, ATC
Assistant Athletic Lecturer & Trainer
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University