Shin splints1 are experienced by almost all athletes and sportspersons sometime or the other in their sports career. It is the most common sports injury of leg. It is mostly caused due to the overuse of leg muscles and hence, is rightly referred to as an overuse injury. However, it is curable as well as preventable.
Does Ibuprofen Help Shin Splints?2
Ibuprofen is an anti-inflammatory medication and can help in shin splints by reducing the inflammation of the tendons and thereby reducing the pain. However, it is advisable to take ibuprofen by proper consultation with and recommendation of a specialist. Also, they may tend to cause some side effects. Hence, they should be consumed only when absolutely necessary, and for as little time as is possible. Taking them long term may have serious side effects sometimes.
Certain methods and simple techniques can be followed to cure shin splints. Using ibuprofen or other anti-inflammatory medicines is one among the many options available out there for the treatment of shin splints. These techniques will tell you about other methods of curing this condition. However, these are all for providing some relief from the condition. To eradicate the problem, the root cause must be treated. And the root cause of shin splints is overusing your leg beyond its capacity. If this factor is taken care of, shin splints are completely curable-
- Provide ample rest to the shin when you are trying to heal the shin splints. The shin splints will most of the times go away on their own with proper rest
- Standing up and picking your feet up does not involve the use of muscles of the lower leg. Hence, try not to use your shins while performing these actions. The same thing can be followed while walking as well as running, as neither of these two activities require the use of shins. This basic thing can save your shins a lot of trouble.
- Try to do some cross training while you are healing your shin splints. This means taking up some other form of exercises like swimming or cycling. This alternating of exercises can help your body in coping up with the healing process.
- Massaging the shins every day for about 10 minutes can help in reducing the inflammation.
Prevention Is Better Than Cure2
- Always wear properly fitting shoes. Change your running shoes every 300-400 miles
- Use Shock- absorbent insoles or orthotics to prevent shin splints from happening again and again.
- Hard, slanting and uneven surfaces like downhill or concrete must not be used for exercises
- Make gradual changes to your exercise frequency and intensity
- Avoid heel striking, toe running and longer strides while running
- It is better to cross train in between, alternating between running and other exercises like cycling or swimming can help 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
- Strength training is extremely important, especially for calf muscles if you want to prevent shin splints
- Never underestimate the importance of sufficient rest.
- Do not keep exercising when you start feeling pain. exercising through the pain can increase the severity of the condition and give rise to new complications
- Perform exercises that stress on the overall development of the body and not just single body part.
- Discontinue the physical activity if you start experiencing any pain or discomfort.
- Consult a physiotherapist whenever needed
Shin splints are the commonest injury of the legs experienced by almost all sportspersons and athletes. It is particularly common in runners because of the repetitive nature of the running activity. It can be quite painful at times, while at others there might be just a vague pain. Medicines like ibuprofen can help in reducing the pain and inflammation associated with this condition. Shin splits is curable as well as preventable.