Another winter has passed and thankfully, we’re all headed back outside to enjoy the sun and warm air. And it’s usually this time of year that many of us put our running shoes on to hit the road or track for a brisk walk or jog. New Orleans orthopedic surgeon Dr. Richard Meyer supports daily exercise, he also finds that along with a renewed commitment to exercise often come aches and pains and sometimes injuries.
Injury is a part of exercise and sports, and our legs tend to take most of the beating. Chronic lower leg pain is common in both competitive and recreational athletes, and one of the more common causes athletes endure is shin splints.
A shin splint is a common cause of exercise-induced lower leg pain, typically found in sports that require running and jumping regularly, such as jogging, track and field and soccer. Your New Orleans orthopedic surgeon’s patients usually complain of pain along the inside of the shinbone near the calf muscle. As these muscles contract, they pull away from the bone, sometimes leading to periostitis, which is inflammation of the tissue that connects the muscles to the shin bone.
Related Symptoms of shin splints can include:
- Pain along the inside of the shin bone where it meets the calf muscle;
- Limited ability to exercise at the same intensity or distance as usual;
- Pain that worsens with exercise and gets better with rest.
Shin splints are typically diagnosed by your New Orleans orthopedic surgeon through an examination of the patient’s legs for swelling, bruising and tenderness.
Of course, the best way to deal with a shin splint is to avoid it all together. Naturally, this is not always possible, but certain training strategies can help diminish your risk. Avoid rapid changes in training regimens in terms or distance of intensity. A gradual return to activity after a sedentary period is extremely important, so the body can adapt. Be sure to rotate running shoes out every 300 to 500 miles to lower your risk for injury.