Is shin splints halting your workout or output at work? You may think at first that it is fatigue or excessive exercise that causes the pain. But you notice the throbbing pain in your shin is reoccurring and giving you concern. You may have developed shin splints. 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. In this article, you’ll explore 8 Important tips on how to heal Shin Splints fast.
What are Shin Splints?
Shin Splints are a benign, painful condition and a common problem 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. Shin splints, however, are not a specific diagnosis. Instead, it is a term that describes chronic exertional shin pain among athletes. The evidence shows that shin splint pain has a wide range of causes.
Shin splint pain can be best described 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 natural and accurate therapy for shin splints.
Causes of Shin Splints
Several factors can result in you having shin splints. Some causes and risk factors of shin splints include,
- Repetitive stress and pressure to the lower leg from running, walking or standing.
- Protonation is also known as flat feet or a collapsed arch
- Use of poorly fitting shoes without good support
- Inflamed and weakened ankles, hips, or muscles due to repetitive pressure
- Starting a new exercise routine or activity too quickly
- When your bone does not have time to heal properly
- Poor warm-up before exercise or insufficient cooldown with stretching after exercise
What do Shin Splints Feel Like?
You may have shin splints if you have aches in your leg, especially the lower leg. This pain is painful and often gets worse after exercise. You may feel a sharp or dull pain that may come and go. Although shin splints are not severe, you should see your doctor to ensure you do not have a stress fracture.
Signs and symptoms of Shin Splints
Symptoms of shin splints
The predominant symptoms include,
- Pain on or around the lower leg region (Tibia)
- Severe pain, especially during exercise, walking, or at rest
- Soreness or dull aching pain on the side of your lower leg
- More aches and cramps on the backside of your lower leg
- Localized pain that may move down to your foot
Signs of shin splints
In general, the signs associated with shin splints are few.
- Tenderness at the site of pain
- Slight edema
- Weakness and pain in the muscles
How to diagnose Shin Splints
Your doctor will diagnose if you have shin splints by taking your history and checking you. A complete examination of your lower leg, ankle and foot movement, if you feel pain when you walk, and if there is soreness or tenderness along your bone.
To ensure the pain is not a stress fracture, your doctor may ask you to carry out an X-ray, Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), or a bone scan. Other diagnoses of shin pain include
- Stress fractures
- Vascular diseases such as diabetes may exacerbate the condition
- Spinal stenoses such as a tumor, disc hernia, arthritis, and infection of the spinal cord
- Deep vein thrombosis
How to Heal Shin Splints Fast
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 occasionally. However, talk with your doctor if you plan to use them more frequently to manage any side effects, such as the risk of internal bleeding and ulcers. In any case, avoid taking them with alcohol.
A Vitamin D3 supplement (1000 to 2000 IU daily) may help. Always discuss with your doctor if you choose to take supplements.
7) 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.
8) 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 motion exercises and other techniques to prevent and treat shin splints and related conditions.
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 proper footwear
Training errors are a common cause of provoking shin splints. Ensure your shoes are appropriate for your chosen sport and provide adequate support and padding. Please 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 many 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 bSo if sedentary for a while, start 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, making them more elastic and less prone to injury. Calf raises are especially helpful for building up your capacity.
When should I call my doctor about shin splints?
It is essential to call or visit your doctor if you notice any of the symptoms and signs discussed in this article. Talk to your doctor promptly if your legs are swollen, red, or painful. These could be signs and symptoms of shin splints, an infection, or another condition so that proper examination and tests are done as soon as possible.
Shin splints are a common exercise injury, but there are many ways to stay active while lowering your risk. Treating shin splint consists of activity modification, including using non-weight-bearing crutches, which may be needed for pain relief. In addition, 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 gradually increase your activity level. You should work out at a sensible pace and allow adequate time for recovery if you feel pain in your lower legs.
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