Pain felt on the lower leg (tibia or shinbone) can be attributed to shin splints, stress fracture, tendonitis, or compartment syndrome. For a quick diagnosis, try pressing your fingers on and around the area where you feel pain. If the length of pain is 2 inches and/or more, it is probably a shin splint. Shin splints are the inflammation of muscles, bones, joints and other tissues surrounding the tibia, usually located on lower inside and upper outside portion of the shinbone. Most patients describe the pain as dull at the start of the exercise/ activity. It is only after the exercise or the day after that the patients complain that the pain has worsened.
For do-it-yourself cures that may help reduce pain and speed up the healing process, follow these following tips. Take note though, if the pain is extreme you may want to check with your physician and try to cure shin splints before doing anything that may cause further damage. First, try cold compressions for at least 10-15 minutes. Second, rest your precious feet, cut-back on your exercise and other activities that can further aggravate your injury. Third, wrap your injury with shin splint wrap to compress it. Fourth, elevate your leg, it should be higher that your heart level. Fifth, drink some anti-inflammatory medications (e.g. ibuprofen); remember to take it in moderation since such medications can cause ulcers and other stomach problems. Lastly, deep tissue massage may also help, ask your physician for recommendation.
When all else fails, it might be time to visit your physician to cure shin splints. After checking your medical history, giving you a physical exam and ordering x-ray scan, the doctor may recommend a cast to be put on for at least 2-6 weeks. When the problem seems to be more than just shin splints, your doctor may order a bone scan or MRI for the possibility of a stress fracture.