Shin Splints Specialist

Red Rocks Foot & Ankle Center

Podiatrists located in Littleton, CO

If you’re an athlete or just have an active lifestyle, you’ve probably felt that familiar twinge of pain on the front of your shins at some point in your life. Shin splints aren’t fun and can interrupt your training, leaving you feeling frustrated. At Red Rocks Foot & Ankle Center in Littleton, Colorado, Hani Saeed, DPM, can evaluate and treat your shin splint pain. With a specialization in treating athletes and athletic related injuries, Dr. Saeed provides a variety of treatment options to best fit your needs. You can book an appointment through their online system, or call the office to schedule.

Shin Splints Q & A

What are shin splints?

Known in the medical community as medial tibial stress syndrome (MTSS), shin splints are the sensation of pain along the shin bone. The pain usually starts out as dull and tender, increasing with use, and can leave your leg sore and slightly swollen. In severe cases, untreated shin splints can lead to a stress fracture.

If you’re a runner, dancer, or play sports, you might be familiar with this injury, as it’s common. Typically, shin splints are caused when muscles and tendons are overworked, resulting in irritation and inflammation. Common causes for MTSS include:

  • Increasing exercise intensity too fast
  • Overpronation of the foot when walking or running
  • Exercising on uneven terrain
  • Improper footwear
  • Foot structure: flat feet or high arches

If you have any of the above symptoms or have newly begun an exercise program, schedule an evaluation with Dr. Saeed to discuss possible shin splint treatments.

Is it easy to treat shin splints?

Yes, it’s fairly easy to treat shin splints, however, it’s going to take some patience on your part. If you’re a regular runner, you’re going to need to decrease your training and switch to an exercise that has a limited impact on your lower legs. A stationary bike, elliptical machine, and swimming are great alternatives for runners in shin splint recovery, because they are easy on the lower leg, while still providing a cardio workout. There are also several at-home treatments you can do to supplement your podiatric care:

  • Stretching
  • Massage
  • Rest
  • Ice
  • Compression
  • Over-the-counter pain relievers
  • Strength training
  • Wear proper footwear

With a specialty in treating shin splints, Dr. Saeed will evaluate your condition and come up with the best treatment plan for your needs, so you can resume your activities as soon as possible.

How can I prevent shin splints?

Knowing how to prevent shin splints is an important part of training. If you’re recovering from a recent injury, make sure to go back to your regular exercise routine only when your symptoms have resolved and do so slowly. It’s best to begin at a level and intensity that’s half of what you were previously doing.

Choose proper footwear, soft terrain, and gradually increase your time and intensity over a three- to six-week period, depending on the severity of your shin splints. If you’re new to exercise, ease into it so your body has a chance to adapt. Simple adjustments to your gait and footwear can go a long way in preventing shin splints:

  • Orthotics: a custom shoe insert can help with lower leg impact
  • How do you move?: have a professional study your gate for overpronation
  • Special Insoles: shock-absorbing insoles can prevent another injury
  • Replace your shoes: runners should replace their shoes every 350-500 miles
  • Don’t overdo it: listen to your body, and slow down if you feel pain or discomfort
  • Strength train: work to strengthen and stabilize your muscles

To prevent further injury, remember to always consult a doctor before returning to your regular fitness routine. A qualified podiatrist, such as Dr. Saeed, is an important resource for shin splint prevention and treatment. You can book an appointment with the Red Rocks Foot & Ankle Center through their online scheduling service or call their office directly.