Celebrating Athletic Trainers – Shin Splints and Stress Fractures

During the month of March, we continue to celebrate Therapy Center’s team of Athletic Trainers (ATs). With the change in season marks the beginning of a sport noted for shin splints and stress fractures – Track and Field.

What are Shin Splints and Stress Fractures?

Shin Splints: As noted in an article by sportsinjuryclinic.net, “Medial tibial stress syndrome is the most common cause of shin pain, which people generally refer to as shin splints. It is primarily an over-use injury where repetitive strain causes traction forces on the sheath surrounding the bone resulting in pain and inflammation.”

Stress Fractures: Experts at the Mayo Clinic cite that “stress fractures are tiny cracks in a bone”. They’re caused by repetitive force, often from overuse — such as repeatedly jumping up and down or running long distances. Stress fractures can also arise from normal use of a bone that’s weakened by a condition such as osteoporosis. Stress fractures are most common in the weight-bearing bones of the lower leg and foot. Track and field athletes and military recruits who carry heavy packs over long distances are particularly susceptible, but anyone can have a stress fracture.

Prevention Tips from our Athletic Trainers

As mentioned in our previous article on overuse injuries, it is recommended that you seek the advice of a sports medicine specialist or certified athletic trainer prior to beginning any exercise program or sport to prevent chronic or recurrent problems. Key tips for preventing stress fractures and shin splints from Therapy Center’s Certified Athletic Trainer, Jim Dorotics include:

  1. Get an athletic trainer to inspect  your footwear to ensure proper alignment and support
  2. Alternate training days to prevent strain on muscles and bones (i.e. legs one day, core the next)
  3. If you suspect you have a shin splint, consult a medical professional and use the PRICE principles (protection, rest, ice, compression and elevation)to reduce initial pain and inflammation

Click Here for information provided by the National Athletic Trainers Association (NATA) and additional tips on preventing overuse injuries.

Learn more about the services provided by Therapy Center Sports Medicine Team.

View our resource page for more tips on overuse injuries.

Learn More about NATA.



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