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Pain in shins, negative X-rays, applied ice. Why are shins not healing?

I m a 53 yr old woman who was having some mild shin discomfort when sprint training. After racing in 2 100 meter dashes one day, the pain in my shins was really bad. Went to doc. Xrays were negative. Pt said to rest, ice, elevate, which I was doing anyway. They said 4-6 weeks I d be fine. It s 8 weeks later & the pain is MUCH better but my shins still ache & there is no way I can run. Why aren t my shins healing?
Asked On : Sat, 3 Nov 2012
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General & Family Physician 's  Response
Hello. Your story is pretty typical for medial tibial stress syndrome, or shin splints. This disorder is caused by activities that place too much stress on the tissues that connect the muscles of your legs to your shin bones. This results in microtears in these tissues, which in turn triggers inflammation. Depending on the extent of the injury and the level of continuing activity, it can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months for shin splints to heal. Ice, anti-inflammatory medications (ibuprofen, naproxen, etc.), rest and gentle exercises (toe raises, for example) are the mainstays of therapy. Proper footwear, arch supports (if you have low arches), leg strength training and avoidance of the "terrible toos" (running too hard, too fast and too long) will help prevent recurrence once your shin splints have healed.
I suggest you consult a physical therapist, if possible, to develop a home rehabilitation program. This will get you back to running more quickly.
Good luck!
Answered: Sat, 3 Nov 2012
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