Among the many conditions that you can develop in the legs is shin splints. Leg pain that extends along the shinbone is a common sign of this condition. It is most commonly manifested as a stabbing or stinging pain below the knee following physical activities. It often begins as mild and gets worse with time. If left unaddressed, shin splints can get worse, causing you to refrain from activities you love, such as exercise, running a marathon, or taking a hike.
There are some signs that can suggest you have shin splints. Some of the most common signs include:
- Anatomical Indications Shin splints are often exhibited in people who have flat feet or inflexible arches. If you have abnormal arches, it could be a sign that you may have mild shin splints. Even if you don’t experience symptoms currently, you are a higher risk of developing the condition in the future.
- Location of Pain A dull ache in the front of your leg between the knee and ankle is an early sign of shin splints and is also a signal that undue stress is being placed on the shinbone.
- Symptoms Following Certain Activities Shin splints pain is not common if you are resting or are highly inactive. Rather, the condition is most common among those who are active and most often manifests when you exercise, run, or do other activities on your feet.
- Light Swelling Shin splints can cause inflammation. Sudden swelling in the legs that is otherwise unexplained might be a sign that shin splints are developing. Getting ahead of the pain can make all the difference to how much shin splints will affect your lifestyle.
- Sore Muscles Athletes expect a certain amount of muscle soreness following a workout, but when leg muscles become sore without an apparent reason, it could be an early signal of shin splints. It doesn’t take much effort for shin splints to develop, but the resulting pain will increase with added activity. Pay attention to muscle pain in the legs (particularly in the calves) that has no apparent cause.
- Weak Calve Muscles Naturally weak calve muscles are a harbinger of shin splints. The shinbone bears your weight, rather than the muscles that align the front sides of the lower part of the leg doing so. When you have weak calve muscles, it puts stress on the shinbone, which isn’t designed to absorb the shock.
- Numbness A tingling sensation or numbness in one or both feet may be an early indication of shin splints. As with weak calf muscles, the sensation may be present because of inadequate weight distribution, placing greater strain on the feet and ultimately the shins.
Shin Splints Treatment in Maryland
Early signs of shin splints are an opportunity to ward off greater and more painful symptoms in the future. If you are experiencing unusual or painful symptoms and suspect you may have shin splints, talk to an orthopedic physician as soon as possible.
The Centers for Advanced Orthopaedics can assess your discomfort or symptoms and get you an accurate diagnosis quickly. Call (410) 644-1880 to schedule an appointment with one of our orthopaedic specialists. You can also request an appointment online.