Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, MD, FFARCSI

Shin splints are a painful condition of the lower compartment of the leg due to excessive stress on the shin bone. It is caused by undue stress on the muscles and bones that is common in runners, athletes and people who are involved in heavy exercise. The main muscle involved in the shin splints is the tibialis anterior which forms the anterior compartment of the lower leg covering the tibial bone. The other muscles forming the lower compartment of leg are calf muscles, extensor hallucis longus, extensor digitorum longus, gastronemius, peroneus tertius muscles, and soleus muscles. When the sheath covering the bone is inflamed, it will result in excessive pain in the shin muscles and when left untreated this condition leads to stress fractures of shin bone.

This condition however painful, but can be treated at home with exercise, stretching of the muscles and a healthy diet. Medically this condition is called as medial tibial stress syndrome.

Home Remedies For Shin Splints

How to get rid of shin splints naturally at home? Proper diet along with right technique of stretching muscles at home can help prevent this condition. Home remedies have shown remarkable improvement in reducing pain and inflammation of the muscles. Taking a diet rich in magnesium and calcium is beneficial to the muscles and bone and is a good home remedy for shin splints. It not only strengthens the bones but they are also involved in many of the metabolic reactions that take place in the body.

These minerals along with vitamin D are needed for conversion of glycogen into glucose that is used during exercise. Without these the muscles would undergo easy fatigability due to anaerobic metabolism and accumulation of lactic acid in the body. This further leads to muscle soreness and spasms. The protein metabolism is also disturbed causing reduction of power and strength of the muscles and bones.

Hot and cold compresses on the affected area can help alleviate pain and inflammation of the area and is a good home remedy for shin splints. Hot bath with Epsom salt is also beneficial to flush out toxins and lactic acid out of the body and also the magnesium is directly absorbed through skin relieving soreness and spasms.

Cherry juice also helps in reducing inflammation because of the presence of antioxidant compounds called anthocyanins. Hot baths with essential oils, massage all help in relaxing muscles and reduce swelling of the leg.

Ginger root, pickle juice, apple cider vinegar, turmeric powder, pineapple, valerian root, coconut oil, cayenne pepper, milk and bananas have anti-inflammatory properties and are widely used as home remedies for shin splints to relieve pain and inflammation. Foods rich in calcium and magnesium daily can help restore the loss and prevent muscle soreness. The main cause of weak bones is calcium and magnesium and when these minerals are found in adequate quantities in the body the chances of prevention of shin splints go higher.

The muscles also require adequate rest after rigorous workout and exercise. It is essential to take proper rest and replenish magnesium levels in the body by consumption of fruits, eggs and fish. If necessary the use of supplements is also advised when the body’s demands cannot be met by natural foods.

Common Causes Of Shin Splints

Shin splints are mostly the result of overworked and inflamed muscles. Any excessive amount of force or injury to the lower leg will apply pressure against your shin bone. Improper training techniques, running on uneven terrain, using old worn out shoes and sudden increase in intensity and duration of exercise all aggravate shin muscle inflammation and in turn make the shin bone weak and lead to shin splints.

The symptoms of shin splints include extreme pain in the lower leg, pain while walking and exercising, and numbness in the feet. Swelling can be present in some cases with pain on one or both sides of the shin bone. The pain in lower leg should not be ignored because it can be a cause of some underlying pathology and over time it can lead to stress fractures and weak bones.

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Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: December 27, 2018

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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