Shin Splints Specialist

Desert Foot & Ankle

Podiatry & Foot and Ankle Surgeons located in Mesa, AZ & Phoenix, AZ

If your shins have been aching or throbbing, the cause may be shin splints, a common injury among runners. At Desert Foot and Ankle in Phoenix and Mesa, Arizona, the team of podiatrists uses treatments, including custom orthotics, to help get you pain-free and moving again. To schedule an appointment, call or use the online booking tool.

Shin Splints Q & A

What are shin splints?

Broadly speaking, shin splints can refer to any form of pain in your shins that gets worse after exercise. The pain comes from inflammation in either the muscles, tendons, or bone tissue along your tibia, or shinbone.

The condition is common among runners, but it can affect you after any kind of exercise. Shin splints occur when you overwork the muscles and bones in your legs.

Note that the definition of “overwork” varies from person to person and doesn’t describe a universal limit on how much you can safely exercise. That means you’re more likely to develop shin splints if you’ve started running more often, more intensely, or for longer distances than you’re used to. 

Some people are more prone to shin splints than others. If your feet are flat, or your arches are especially rigid, you’re more likely to get them. You’re also at higher risk if the shoes you use for running or other exercise are worn out or inappropriate for the type of activity.

How are shin splints treated?

Overuse causes shin splints, and the pain gets worse after you exercise. That also means you need to rest in order for them to heal.

You don’t have to abstain from exercising entirely, but your Desert Foot and Ankle podiatrist is likely to recommend different forms of low-impact exercise such as swimming or a stationary bike. Even after you recover, reducing stress on your feet by mixing up your exercise routine is an important step to prevent overuse injuries.

To manage the pain, your podiatrist may recommend:

  • Taking over-the-counter pain medication
  • Icing the area
  • Wearing a compression stocking
  • Stretching your lower leg muscles

Custom orthotics can also greatly improve the discomfort of shin splints.

How do orthotics help with shin splints?

Shin splints are often caused in part by improper footwear and being naturally flat-footed. A pair of supportive running shoes is a necessity for any distance runner, but you may benefit further from orthotics, which are shoe inserts customized to fit your feet.

If you have flat feet, or you’ve had shin splints multiple times, your Desert Foot and Ankle podiatrist may recommend orthotics to stabilize and properly align your foot and ankle. This reduces the stress you put on your lower legs when you run, reducing the chance of inflammation.

To get treatment for shin splints, book an appointment at Desert Foot and Ankle online or over the phone.