In the event of a “Zombie Attack”, Shin Splints could be the difference between life and death.
Survivors in zombie movies always seem to have excellent leg health, endless bullets, and they never need to use the bathroom. The heroes can sprint in bare feet and ladies in heels can run faster than the heroes. And somehow no one has shin splints!
Shin Splint sufferers may not have to run away from zombies in real life but they still have to deal with leg pain that can hamper day-to-day tasks. Those who leave the condition untreated long enough may even find themselves troubled by something as simple as a short walk to the hawker centre.
What are Shin Splints?
‘Shin Splints’ is a term used to describe an assortment of conditions that cause pain at the front of the leg.
One of the more common types is Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome, a musculoskeletal injury triggered by the overuse of the lower leg muscles.
Ironically, Shin Splints can often be caused by your efforts to improve your physical condition. Engaging in strenuous physical activity, without proper preparation such as stretching, can lead to the muscles around your tibia bone to be overworked.
It’s not just the physical activity that causes Shin Splints. There are a number of other factors that can cause them, such as bad foot posture (over-pronation or flat foot) and using inappropriate footwear, which does not provide enough support.
Should you worry?
When left untreated, Shin Splints can develop into more serious ailments. You could develop stress fractures or developing compartment syndrome – a condition that causes pain due to high-pressure levels in your muscles.
The tendon may degenerate and lose its maximum functional effectiveness, which may later require surgical intervention. These conditions could result in chronic pain, but the good news is, it is avoidable with early treatment by a foot specialist.
What treatments are available?
“If you suspect you might have Shin Splints, avoid aggravating the injury by trying to walk it off. Many times, athletes or travellers endure the pain and carry on with their activities. This results in dangerous stress levels on the injury, often resulting in the need for open surgery,” says Louis Loy, a podiatrist in Singapore who sees many musculoskeletal pain cases in his clinic every day.
For some shin splint conditions, surgical intervention may be preferable over conservative treatment. Patients are then advised to consult with an orthopedic surgeon.
Louis explains, “In Singapore, for my patients who prefer to avoid surgery, I employ conservative podiatry treatment techniques including foot orthotics and shockwave therapy, which has always shown very positive recovery results in my practice.”
A podiatrist is a healthcare professional who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of lower limb and foot disorders. Podiatrists also tailor-made for their patients’ customized shoe insoles that work well to stabilize the foot and reduce impact to the lower limb.
If you happen to be suffering from Shin Splints, get on the path to recovery soon with proper clinical treatment. Hopefully in time for the next zombie apocalypse!