shin splints growing pains

Adolescence is a challenging time. Young identities are being tested out, hormones abound, and growing pains can be constant for some teenagers. If you are the parent of a teen in pain, you may be at your wits’ end trying to figure out what you can do for them during these trying times… While we can’t help you with their sudden urge for cold pizza for every meal, we can assist you with their physical pain.

Just what are Shin Splints, and how can you reduce the pain?

Tibial stress syndrome is the clinical name for shin splints, and is a common complaint for physically active kids and teens. While not as common, adults can experience shin splints as well. Luckily, treatment for all ages is fairly simple. But before we explore how to relieve the pain, how do you know if you are suffering from shin splints?

What causes growing pains?

A growth spurt is a period of time in which rapid changes occur in a young body. According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons the bones of kids are different than adults . They state that “children and adolescents possess a special area where the bone is growing called the growth plate.” Growth plates are essentially areas of cartilage that will harden with time. Sometimes, these growth plates attach different areas, like the quadriceps, tibial tubercle, and tibia (aka thigh and shin bones), and stress in these areas can cause acute pain.

Anatomy of Growing Bones–conditions/osgood-schlatter-disease-knee-pain/

Symptoms of Shin Splints

  • pain during physical activities like running or jumping
  • tenderness near shinbone
  • swelling near shinbone
  • tightening of thigh muscles/ quads even after rest periods

Experiencing any of the above symptoms is very common for those suffering from shin splints, but if left untreated can lead to stress fractures overtime and cause long term consequences. If you are unsure and are in pain, consult with your doctor as soon as possible.

How can the pain be reduced?

The treatment for anyone experiencing shin splints is going to involve lots of rest, and the occasional anti-inflammatory medicine. A common practice recommended by our staff is the R.I.C.E. method. For more information on how to properly use the R.I.C.E. method, click here.

If pain continues after using these methods, consult with an experienced doctor right away. Leaving Shin Splints unattended can cause long-term health issues. Our compassionate staff can help you navigate the healing process with shin splints in teens. Don’t hesitate – schedule a consultation today!