Foot Orthotics: Will They Help Seasonal Athletes Recover from Shin Splints?


Although shin splints can happen at any time of the year, they tend to spring up more often when people begin returning to the tennis courts and running tracks. The reason behind the increase is easy to understand. As people try to get back into the swing of their favorite sports, they inadvertently put undue pressure on their tibias, tendons and muscles.

That added pressure sparks inflammation, mild soreness and eventually severe pain that may interfere with their exercise routines or daily ambulation. Thankfully, wearing foot orthotics and taking over-the-counter, anti-inflammatory medications frequently helps them feel better quicker.

First, podiatrists must identify whether the person’s pain is emanating from the medial, lateral or anterior area of the shin. Then, it is common to watch the patient walk and determine if there is excessive pronation, forefoot valgus, supination or other biomechanical problems that may be contributing to the person’s shin splints.

Afterward, custom foot orthotics may be ordered and designed to suit the patient’s needs. Ideally, whichever foot orthotics are prescribed, they’ll correct the biomechanical issue, thereby reducing stress on the lower leg during routine ambulation or running.

So which foot orthotic devices are used to help ease the pain of shin splints? As you can guess, it will depend on the person’s foot and the contributing biomechanical problem at hand. Sometimes supportive, foam inserts with cut-away areas may help relieve the pressure. In other situations, it may be wise to include a supportive wrap or bandage that helps to hold the foot, ankle and lower leg into the proper position for running or walking.

Understandably, the cost and amount of time it generally takes to make custom foot orthotics for people suffering from shin splints varies as well. To learn more about treating seasonal shin splints with customized foot orthotics, please contact one of our knowledgeable podiatrists today.

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