Pain in your shin or the front of your lower leg can be challenging, especially when it affects your ability to perform everyday tasks like running and walking. But where is your shin pain originating? Today Dr. Hubert Lee of CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists is sharing what you need to know about this sometimes-baffling condition.
What Are Shin Splints?
Shin splints can be a painful condition that restricts your ability to run or walk. The ailment, which is marked by dull or sharp, aching pains in the front of your shins, often seems to appear for no apparent reason and without warning.
While there are things you can do to deal with the problem, it’s a good idea to talk with your podiatrist to thoroughly analyze your condition and determine the right course of treatment.
Could Something Else Be Causing Your Shin Pain?
In some cases, shin splints are not the source of your leg pain, so it is important to visit your podiatrist to ensure you get the proper diagnosis and treatment. Here are some other conditions that may be at the root of your pain.
- Tibial stress fractures occur when you overstrain your shin bones and don’t allow enough recovery time.
- Sciatica is a painful condition that originates in your lower back and causes irritation of your sciatic nerve.
- Compartment Syndrome is a pain in your lower leg that happens when blood fills the muscles of your leg faster than it can escape.
- Blood Clots in your lower leg usually cause calf pain, but in some rare cases, the symptoms may be felt in your shin.
- Osteosarcoma or Tumor can be a cause of shin pain.
- Posterior Tibialis Tendonitis is pain located behind your shin that can become irritated.
Diagnosing Shin Pain
If you are experiencing shin pain, your podiatrist may order diagnostic tests to determine the cause. These tests may include:
- X-ray to rule out a stress fracture in your shin bone;
- EMG testing to check on how your leg’s nerves are functioning;
- MRI tests to view the soft tissue around your lower extremities;
- Ultrasound to check the lower part of your leg for blood clots;
- Physical exams that include palpation, range of motion tests, and strength testing.
If you begin experiencing pain in the front part of your lower leg that worsens while walking or running, you may have shin splints. But there may be other causes, so visit your podiatrist when leg pain strikes.
Once an accurate diagnosis is determined, proper treatment can be started, putting you on the road to a quick recovery. So don’t hesitate, call the office of Dr. Hubert Lee of CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists today to schedule a consultation so we can determine what’s causing your shin pain.