Tonight is Halloween, the scariest night of the year, but don’t let your foot pain caused by shin splints scare you away from enjoying the evening. Too many athletes suffer from this ankle pain and disregard it by assuming they’ll be able to simply “walk it off.” Get the help you need so you can take the little ones out for a night of trick-or-treating.

Shin splints are an overuse injury that plagues many athletes. Often times, the more you run or jump the worse it is. You will usually find that increasing your intensity or changing anything (your footwear, the path you take, the length of your run, etc) can up your risk of developing this leg pain.

Take preventive measures against this condition so you don’t have to stop for any period of time. Wear supportive shoes that offer a lot of cushioning or padding. Always warm up your muscles before exercising, and stretch your muscles afterwards. If at any time during your workout you feel pain, you should discontinue the activity immediately.

Treatment is typically conservative in nature. They will often heal on their own, but living with pain in the meantime is usually not a desired option. The first thing to do is to rest your feet. Apply ice a few times a day to reduce any swelling that may have occurred. Your doctor may recommend you take medication to help with pain and inflammation. Another thing your doctor can do is prescribe a custom-made orthotic. This can help with treatment as well as prevent this problem from developing in the future. You may engage in physical therapy or range-of-motion stretches. Only in very rare cases will you need surgery, for instance if a stress fracture caused your discomfort.

For more information call Mark Gasparini, D.P.M., at (516) 804-9038 to schedule an appointment in our Massapequa, NY, office.

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