Suffering from Plantar Fasciitis and Shin Splints? Learn About Your Treatment Options

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Pain and inflammation in the feet and legs can be caused by a variety of injuries and health problems. Plantar fasciitis and shin splints are two very common causes of pain, especially in people who run or are on their feet for long periods of time. There are preventive measures you can take to help reduce the risk of developing these problems, and there are also treatment methods available if these problems occur. 
 
Dr. Gretel Crison with Davis Hospital and Medical Center explains some treatment options and preventative measures. 
 
What is plantar fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis is the inflammation of a thick band of tissue called the plantar fascia, which is located at the bottom of the foot and connects the heel bone to the toes. Plantar fasciitis is very common in runners and people with inadequate foot support.
 
Symptoms:
  • Stabbing pain at the bottom of foot near heel
  • Pain and stiffness in the morning 
  • Pain when standing for long periods of time
 
Treatment:
Most people can recover from plantar fasciitis with conservative treatment methods. 
 
  • Over-the-counter pain medication
  •  Physical therapy
  • Orthotics
  • Steroid shots
  • Extracorporeal shock wave therapy
  • Surgery when other methods have failed
 
What are shin splints? 
Shin splits, or medial tibial stress syndrome, refers to pain that runs along the shinbone in the front of your lower leg. Like plantar fasciitis, shin splints often occur in runners and other athletes. The connective tissues in the lower legs can become overworked from repetitive stress, causing the pain. 
 
Symptoms:
  • Tenderness or pain along the inner part of lower leg
  • Mild swelling in lower leg
  • Pain after running or exercising 
Treatment:
In most cases, shin splints can be treated at home. 
 
  • Rest or switching to low-impact exercises
  • Ice to the affected area
  • Over-the-counter pain medication
  • Physical therapy
 
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