24 June, 2008

Shin Split

Shin split is the lay-term used to describe symptomatic pain caused by an inflammation of the muscles or tendons of the front of the shin. They can become so bad that the muscles can be damaged, tendons torn, and even splinters of bone pulled free.
Shin split is a pain, which runs down the front of your leg and commonly occurs when people overdo it, Shin splints affect your two leg bones: the tibia and the fibula. Shin splints develop when the muscles attached to these bones become inflamed, causing intense pain. Shin splints are caused when the Tibialis anterior muscle, one of the muscles responsible for flexing your foot upwards, is overused during activity. Pain is experienced when this muscle is flexed too much. Here are some other causes of shin splints.

• Flat feet, or the turning of the foot outward – which puts strain on the leg muscles – can cause shin splints.
• Tight calf muscles, or calf muscles that aren’t ‘warmed up’ before exercising, may be responsible for shin splints.
• Ill-fitting exercise/walking shoes that don’t provide proper foot support could be the reason why you have shin splints.
The pain of shin splints typically occurs during the repetitive motion involved in exercises such as walking, aerobics, jogging, tennis, basketball or other weight-bearing activities. Shin splints most likely develop when:
• You engage in an activity requiring constant pounding on the legs and feet.
• You perform the same action repeatedly, such as walking on a treadmill or just excessive walking.
Initial treatment involves the RICE principle: Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation.

In addition, be sure to follow these shin splint treatment tips to avoid against future shin splint occurrences:

• Warm up muscles before and after any physical fitness activity – including walking – taking special care to stretch the calf muscles. This is a great shin splint treatment plan.
• Wear walking and exercise shoes with proper support and a good fit. This is a good shin splint treatment option.
• Discard worn out shoes that have lost their support. This is an excellent shin splint treatment technique.
• Use insoles and other shoe inserts to reduce the stress placed on muscles and tendons on the front and sides of the legs. This is a great shin splint treatment tip.
• Strengthen the Tibialis anterior muscle by performing toe tapping or placing a weight on the top of the foot and pull the foot up repetitively. This is a fantastic shin splint treatment plan.

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