Dear Dr. Dave and Dr. Dee,
To get back in shape before summer, I went jogging around the neighborhood over the weekend. This morning, I have pain in the front of my legs, especially around the bone in front between my knee and foot. Is this something that I should see my doctor about?
Dear Painful legs,
You may have shin splints caused by running on cement, not being in condition, and possibly improper running shoes. Besides running, shin splints are also common in other sports such as volleyball, basketball, soccer, and tennis.
Try to relieve the pain by following the guidelines below. If you are still in pain after shin splints treatment, then see your doctor.
SHIN SPLINTS TREATMENT
Basic treatment for most sports injuries is R.I.C.E.: Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation in order to relieve pain and reduce swelling.
1. Rest: do not run until the pain goes away. You can still get exercise by swimming or bicycling.
2. Ice: ice shins several times a day for about 10-20 minutes each time for the next couple days.
3. Compression: wrap or tape your shin with an elastic bandage or wear a compression sleeve.
4. Elevation: keep your legs propped up, above the level of your heart.
5. Pain relief: take tylenol, naproxen, or ibuprofen for pain relief and to reduce swelling and inflammation.
6. Heat: after two days of icing if you still have some pain, try using a hot towel, heating pad, heat pack, or heat ointments.
7. Massage: gently massage the painful area with lotion or oil.
SHIN SPLINTS PREVENTION
1. Shoes: wear proper running shoes.
2. Insoles: athletic insoles help cushion the shock of running.
3. Surfaces: avoid running on cement, hard surfaces, and uneven terrain.
4. Stretching: always stretch prior to running and after running.
5. Exercise: do strengthening exercises for the lower legs.