Shin splints, also known as tibial stress syndrome, are a common name for pain that affects the lower leg when it’s been subjected to too much pressure.
Irrespective of its causes whether muscle or bone damage, most cases respond well to simple home treatments. You can usually prevent shin splints by adjusting your workout routine, which is often better.
You will find below in this article 7 ways to deal with Shin Splints.
What is Shin Splints?
Shin Splints is a benign, though painful, condition, and a common problem prevalent among running athletes.
This condition is also common among military personnel, runners, and dancers, showing an incidence of four percent to thirty-five percent. The exact cause of this condition is unknown. (1)
Shin splints” however is not a specific diagnosis. It is a term that describes chronic exertional shin pain among athletes. The evidence shows that shin splints pain has a wide range of causes.
Shin splints pain can be best described preferably by location and etiology, for instance, lower medial tibial pain due to periostitis or upper lateral tibial pain due to elevated compartment pressure.
This would help physicians choose direct and accurate therapy in the treatment of shin splints. (2)
How to Prevent Shin Splints
1) Pace yourself
Overuse is the most common cause of shin splints. Increase the intensity of any workout gradually.
Most runners can safely increase their distance by ten percent or less a week.
2) Buy the right footwear
Ensure your shoes are appropriate for your chosen sport and provide adequate support and padding.
Keep them in good shape. Serious runners usually need new shoes about every 500 miles.
3) Consider arch supports
People with flat feet are more vulnerable to shin splints. That’s also true if your feet pronate or supinate, meaning they twist in or out.
You can find arch supports in various sizes and shapes at drugstores and other retailers.
Your doctor can also help you get custom-made support based on a plaster cast of your foot.
4) Examine your workout surfaces
Stick to surfaces that absorb impacts like grass and sand. Avoid concrete, which may be lurking under the rug in some exercise studios.
5) Be cautious about sudden stops and starts
Playing basketball or just running for a bus can put a lot of stress on your shins. If you’ve been sedentary for a while, start out slow.
6) Stay on level ground
Running downhill or exercising on a slanted surface also increases the pressure. Walking up the stairs is good exercise but take the elevator down.
7) Warm up first
Gentle activity raises the temperature in your muscles and makes them more elastic and less prone to injury. Calf raises are especially helpful for building up your capacity.
How to Deal With Shin Splints
1) Take the pressure off
Stop what you’re doing at the first sign of pain. Shin splints can take up to three to six months to heal. You’ll know you’re ready when the pain is gone and your leg feels strong and flexible again.
2) Switch to lower impact activities
You can still stay fit by swimming or biking. Yoga is also an excellent way to work out safely.
3) Apply ice
Ice may ease the pain. Apply it for up to a half-hour every few hours for the first two or three days.
4) Elevate your lower leg
Reduce swelling by using a pillow to raise your shin above the heart level. This works well when you do it overnight.
5) Take anti-inflammatory painkillers
Painkillers like aspirin and ibuprofen may provide relief when taken on an occasional basis. Talk with your doctor if you plan to use them more frequently in order to manage any side effects such as the risk of internal bleeding and ulcers.
In any case, avoid taking them with alcohol.
6) Talk with your doctor
Medical care may be necessary in some cases, especially if you suffer from severe stress fractures, which are small cracks in the bone. See your doctor if the pain persists or increases or if your shins swell and feel hot.
7) Consult with a physical therapist
Your doctor may recommend a physical therapist or you may want to locate one on your own.
They can guide you through a range of motion exercises and other techniques to prevent and treat shin splints and related conditions.
Shin splints are a common form of exercise injury but there are many ways to stay active while lowering your risk.
Treatment of shin splint consists of activity modification, including the use of non-weight-bearing crutches which may be needed for pain relief.
Pain relief medications (Analgesics) are necessary, and pneumatic bracing can be used to facilitate healing.
After the pain is resolved and the examination shows improvement, you may then gradually increase your level of activity. (3)
You should work out at a sensible pace and allow yourself adequate time for recovery if you feel any pain in your lower legs.
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