When a person is plagued by shin splints, the pain can be acute. Shin splints, as the name suggests, affect the shins—the front part of the lower leg. Fortunately, this issue can usually be addressed effectively, and using the proper foot orthotics can be a step in the right direction.
The pain that accompanies shin splints often is caused by physical activity, such as walking or running, for long periods of time or at an incline. Other factors can cause shin splints as well, but the common denominator is that the act of the feet hitting the ground is placing stress on the shins. Foot orthotics can help by changing the way the feet hit the ground.
In the medical world, what we call shin splints is known as medial tibial stress syndrome. The tibia is the bone that runs along the front of your lower leg, and research suggests that the pain of shin splints is due to mild damage to this bone that occurs when the feet strike the ground again and again. When it comes to shin splints, the goal of finding proper foot orthotics is to reduce the stress and damage to the tibia bone.
Studies of shin splints also show that this condition is far more prevalent among beginner or less-experienced athletes, and that it tends to get better with time, as the bone repairs itself and grows stronger. Therefore, using foot orthotics while you are first starting out with an activity may help prevent shin splints during this vulnerable period. Of course, if shin splint pain is severe, foot orthotics may not be enough, in which case getting chiropractic adjustments and related therapies may help support foot orthotic use.
One key variable to pay attention to in solving the shin splint problem is understanding the way your feet hit the ground and making adjustments. For example, you find that you are overpronating or striking the ground with your heel, then foot orthotics may be able to offer the extra arch support necessary to avoid or ease shin splints. Foot orthotics may not only be helpful for those who are just beginning a running routine or other fitness activity, but also for individuals who may be more inclined to getting shin splints in the first place.
For example, people who have flat feet or especially rigid arches of the feet may find that they are far more susceptible to shin splints—and stand to benefit quite a bit from foot orthotics. The same can hold true for those who are participating in physical activity, such as going for long runs, using shoes that do not fit the right way, or that may be worn down from overuse.
The reason foot orthotics can be so valuable when it comes to dealing with shin splints is because these inserts can help bring stability to the foot and ankle. In this way, foot orthotics may help remove some of the stress from the lower leg, thus helping to prevent damage to the tibia.