Shin splints are a common yet painful condition that can affect anyone who is physically active. They are caused by inflammation of the muscles and tendons that attach to theshinbone, leading to pain and discomfort. Although they’re usually not serious, they can be very painful and limit your ability to exercise.
Fortunately, there is a long-term treatment that is both safe and effective: orthotics for shin splints. In this article, we’ll discuss what shin splints are, the causes of shin splints, and the best orthotics for shin splints.
What Are Shin Splints?
Shin splints are a condition that causes pain in the lower leg, specifically in the area of the shinbone. The medical term for this condition is “medial tibial stress syndrome”. It’s often experienced by athletes and runners, as well as people who have suddenly increased their physical activity levels.
Shin splints are usually caused by overuse of the muscles and tendons around the shinbone, resulting in pain and discomfort. Shin splints are most commonly attributed to improper exercise habits like inadequate warm-ups. Such exercise habits can cause the muscles and tendons around the shinbone to become inflamed, leading to discomfort and pain.
Signs and Symptoms of Shin Splints
The most common sign that you may have shin splints is a burning pain throughout the lower legs. Shin splints can lead to supination, or excessive outward rolling of the foot when you walk. You may experience worsened pain with physical activity which is why rest is just as important as orthotics for shin splints.
Heel and shin pain are the most common symptoms of shin splints. The pain can range from mild to severe, and it may worsen with physical activity and improve with rest. Shinbone pain may also increase after running or other high-impact physical activities. If the pain is severe, it may be accompanied by other symptoms in the area of the shinbone.
Lower Leg Swelling
Lower leg swelling is a common symptom of shin splints. Swelling in the lower leg can be caused by inflammation in the muscles and tendons around the shinbone. Lower leg swelling can lead to additional pain and discomfort that gets worse with activity.
Tenderness or Soreness
Another prominent symptom of shin splints is tenderness or soreness along the inner part of the lower leg. This is due to inflammation of the muscles and tendons in the area.
You may experience warmth from shin splints. The warmth is often felt in the front or inner part of the lower leg. This warmth can indicate inflammation of the muscles and tendons in the lower leg.
If any of these symptoms are left untreated, it can lead to increased pain, decreased mobility, and even long-term damage. To reduce the pain, swelling, soreness, and warmth caused by shin splints, it’s important to get proper treatment as soon as possible.
What Causes Shin Splints?
Shin splints are usually caused by overuse of the muscles and tendons around the shinbone. There are several activities that can increase the risk of developing shin splints, including:
High-impact exercise, such as running, jumping, and other physical activities that involve putting a lot of stress on the lower legs can increase your risk of developing shin splints. If you regularly engage in high-impact exercise, wearing sport orthotics during exercise can help reduce your risk.
Increased Physical Activity
A sudden increase in physical activity can increase your risk of shin splints, as the body is not used to the additional strain. If you plan to start a new exercise programme, we recommend starting slow and not pushing your body past its limit.
Improper warm-ups before exercise can also increase your risk of developing shin splints. It’s important to warm-up properly before any physical activity, as this will help reduce your risk of developing shin splints or straining your muscles.
Training on Uneven or Hard Surfaces
If you’re a regular runner or athlete, you may already know the risks of training on uneven or hard surfaces. Doing so can increase your risk of developing shin splints, as these surfaces can put additional strain on the lower legs and joints. If this is unavoidable, wearing sport orthotics during exercise can help reduce your risk.
High Arches or Flat Feet
A frequently asked question we get from our clients is “Do flat feet cause shin splints?”. Yes, flat feet and shin splints can be co-occurring conditions. If you have either flat feet or high arches, you’re at a higher risk of developing shin splints, as these conditions can make it difficult to find supportive shoes. That’s why we recommend getting fitted for custom orthotics. They will be properly fitted to your feet and everyday shoes for optimal comfort.
Standing or Walking All Day
If you work in a profession that requires you to stand or walk all day long, your risk of developing shin splints is higher, as this puts additional stress on the lower legs. If this applies to your occupation, industrial orthotics are a great choice. They are specially designed orthotics that have extra durability for working extra long days.
The Best Orthotics for Shin Splints
As we’ve mentioned, orthotics are one of the most effective treatments for shin splints. Orthotics for shin splints are worn inside the shoe to help support the foot and reduce strain on the lower legs. They can help reduce the pain and discomfort experienced with shin splints. There are two kinds of orthotics that are the best insoles for shin splints:
Over-the-counter orthotics are readily available at most drug stores and sporting good stores. They are designed to provide general support for the feet. Typically, they are made of foam or plastic and are designed to fit most feet. Over-the-counter orthotics can provide arch support for shin splints to help reduce the pain and discomfort.
While they are readily available and sometimes cheaper than custom-made orthotics, over-the-counter orthotics are not suitable for everyone.
Custom orthotics are designed to provide more support than over-the-counter orthotics. They are the most effective orthotics for reducing the pain and discomfort felt with shin splints as they are designed to fit your feet. It's important to choose the right orthotics for your needs, as this will ensure long-term comfort and health. That’s why we suggest opting for handcrafted, custom-made orthotics for shin splints.
Our approach ensures that your custom-made orthotics are properly fitted to your foot shape and shoes for optimal comfort. If you're currently suffering from shin splints, consider consulting with a podiatrist or health specialist to get the right orthotics for your needs.
Conclusion: Using Orthotics for Shin Splints
Shin splints are a common yet painful condition that can affect anyone who is physically active. They are usually caused by overuse of the muscles and tendons around the shinbone, resulting in pain and discomfort. Fortunately, there are effective treatments available that can relieve shin splints pain and prevent it from happening again.
Orthotics for shin splints can help support the foot and reduce strain on your lower legs. Other treatments, like stretching and strengthening exercises, can be used in conjunction with orthotics to relieve pain.
Try our assessment today to get custom-made orthotics specially designed for your feet. As your needs change over time, we can readjust your orthotics to continue providing effective support and relief for shin splints.