I’ve got pain along the front of my leg – let’s talk about shin splints

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Pain along the front of the lower leg between your knee and ankle commonly occur in athletes who work harder than they usually do. This can occur during exercise, rest or even both. This pain can be severe enough to alter the affected person’s daily activities and if not paid attention to, may take a long time before it goes away. 

About shin splints

Pain along the shin(front of the lower leg) is called shin splint and the commonest cause of this is athletes exercising harder than they usually do or too quickly. It is not a serious condition as it goes away if the affected leg is allowed to rest for a period of time.

What are the causes of shin splints?

  • Exercising too quickly or harder more than you usually do.
  • Exercising on hard surfaces.
  • People with flat feet are prone to shin splints.
  • Wearing shoes with poor supports or cushion during exercise is also a cause.
  • High impact exercises like running, jogging, walking or skipping can put you at risk.

What to do if you have shin splints   

It may take some months for shin splints to heal. During this period, you may need to stop the exercises that put you at risk and follow the processes below.

  • Rest the affected leg. You can switch to low impact exercises.
  • Apply ice on the pain site.
  • Put your leg on a stool when you sit or put a pillow underneath your feet when you lie.
  • Take over the counter pain killers.

How can you prevent shin splints?

  • Ensure warm up exercises before your main exercise.
  • Increase your exercise rate gradually and not too quickly.
  • Do not exercise on hard surface.
  • Wear shoes that support and cushion your feet for exercises.
  • Go for lower impact exercises like swimming if you are at risk of shin splints.


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Dr Kay
About Dr Kay 58 Articles
As a physician, I love to give answers to several questions bothering people, educating them on how to be healthy, breaking down what their present condition is all about and counselling them on how to manage their condition.

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