Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Shin Splints and Plantar Fasciitis

First - shin splints -- this refers to the pain along the shinbone (tibia) - pain is caused by overload on the shinbone and the connective tissues that attach your muscles to the bone.  The risk of getting shin splints is in no way a reason to give up your running/walking routine!  Usually treated with rest and ice and other self-care measures along with modifying your exercise routine - you can help prevent shin splints from recurring.

If you have shin splints - you may notice tenderness along the inner part of your lower leg, mild swelling.  At first - the pain may stop when you stop running/walking, but eventually it may be continuous.  If the pain is severe - consult a doctor.  Things that can add to getting shin splints - running downhill incorrectly, running on a slanted or tilted surface, running on worn-out footwear.  In most cases, these simple steps and be taken as self-care and prevention measures:  rest, ice the affected area, reduce the swelling by icing and taking OTC pain reliever, wearing proper shoes, consider arch supports.  After you have rested, it's important to resume your activities gradually!  Also try adding some strength training to your regimen!

Plantar fasciitis occurs when the thick band of tissue on the bottom of the foot is overstretched or overused. This can be painful and make walking more difficult.  There are several stretching techniques that will aid in the self-care of this condition.  More often it involves the calf muscle!  

A great way to ice for plantar fasciitis is to freeze a water bottle and then roll it under your foot. You can easily do this while watching the news or your favorite reality TV show. STRETCH and stretch often and it will cut down on having to have the severe.

Signs/Symptoms:  The most common complaint is pain and stiffness in the bottom of the heel. The heel pain may be dull or sharp. The bottom of the foot may also ache or burn.  The pain is usually worse:
  • In the morning when you take your first steps
  • After standing or sitting for a while
  • When climbing stairs
  • After intense activity

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