Shin Splints – Don’t Let it Stop a New Year of Running

We all have probably experienced ‘shin splints’ at some time throughout our youth.  I can remember in my youth the first time I bought a brand new pair of the latest shoe and strapped them on for a 4 mile run.  Needless to say this was not a smart idea and I ended up with a debilitating case of ‘shin splints’.


A common ‘diagnosis’ for runners, dancers, or other athletes, it is not a true diagnosis at all.  Shin splint is a term used to encompass any number of issues that may cause lower leg pain. As with any type of injury, misdiagnosis and lack of treatment can worsen the problem leading to increased pain and aggravation. There are a number of conditions or injuries that will manifest as pain in the front of you leg. 


In the Austin runner, the reasons are often overuse injuries including stress fractures or tendonitis.  That incident I mentioned earlier, a definite case of overuse tendonitis.  The new style of shoe I wore changed my foot mechanics causing excessive stress on my anterior group muscles (the muscles in the front of your leg which help your toes clear the ground during a run). Choosing the right type of shoe was an easy fix for me in my youth.  As an adult with a regular running routine, the cause may be more difficult to diagnose on your own. A scan of your foot can determine if faulty mechanics are at fault and what type of insert will be most useful once the tendonitis is fixed.


It is human nature to avoid things that are painful.  Do not let leg pain stop you from being more active in 2013!   Try to identify what you did differently before the pain started.  Sometimes a new shoe, new terrain, or increase activity can lead to problems and can easily be corrected.   If the problem has slowly been getting worse or making adjustments yourself don’t resolve the problem, visit us at Austin Foot and Ankle Specialists.  Our team of foot specialists, physical therapist, and medical staff are all here to get you back to running Austin!


Dr. Craig H. Thomajan, DPM, FACFAS, FAENS
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Founder and Managing Partner of Austin Foot and Ankle Specialists
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