Shin splints1 are an overuse injury. They occur when the tendons i.e. the cords that connect the shin bone with the muscles get inflamed due to applying excessive pressure on them for a long time.
Are Shin Splints Curable?
Shin splints are curable most of the times. Usually they go away on their own, with a proper rest to the leg. Shin splints are not only curable, but also preventable.
How to cure shin splints?2 You can use the following methods to cure shin splints. All these methods can help in either temporary relief from shin splints or help preventing a future recurrence. However, they do not provide a cure from the roots, as the root cause is overuse of leg muscles or an impact to the leg for a longer duration. These root causes should be eliminated in order to get a complete cure for shin splints. However, the below-mentioned methods and remedies can help in providing a relief and preventing the recurrence of shin splints-
- Give ample rest to the shin when you are healing shin splints. More often than not, the shin splints will go away on their own with proper rest
- Try not to use your shins. When you stand up and pick your feet up, you can see that this action does not involve the use of muscles of the lower leg. If this is achievable while walking, surely this can be done while walking and running as well. If this basic principal is followed, it can save your shins a lot of trouble.
- When you are healing a shin splint, try to switch to some other form of exercises which do not involve the use of lower leg muscles, like swimming. This is known as cross training
- Massaging the shins every day for about 10 minutes can help in reducing the inflammation.
Some preventive measures3 to be considered so that shin splints do not recur are as follows-
- Wear good fitting shoes that provide you with a proper support. the running shoes must be replaced every 300-400 miles
- Shock- absorbent insoles can remarkably prevent shin splints from happening again and again. They are available these days over the counter or you can get them custom-made
- hard and uneven surface, slanting surface must not be used for exercise, running etc.
- The exercise intensity should be increased gradually, and you must not increase it abruptly
- Taking shorter strides during running can help in preventing shin splints
- you must avoid heel striking and toe running during the running sessions. It should be done as mid-foot as possible
- It is better to cross train in between as running can be quite shocking for your body. Alternating between running and other exercises like cycling or swimming can help the body recover from that shock and prevent shin splits
- A proper warm-up routine should be followed before starting any exercises
- Also, proper stretches before and during exercises can help in the long run
- Concentrating on toe exercises as a part of strength train plan can be rewarding, as that is responsible for building calf muscles
- Taking proper rest should never be overlooked when there is a pain.
- Symptoms4 can worsen if you keep exercising through the pain and can lead to further, more severe complications
- Avoid workouts that concentrate on a particular muscle group. The exercises should cause an overall development of all muscles and should not cause overuse or trauma of one particular set of muscles
- At the onset of pain or any other abnormal physical signs and symptoms, the physical activity must be stopped, and proper rest or medical advice must be sought as per the need
- Take help of physiotherapists whenever needed
Shin splints can be called as overuse injuries. They occur due to over-pushing of the leg muscles beyond their capacity or for too long. Shin splints are curable as well as preventable.
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