Shin splints are the commonest leg injury that happens to runners or sportspersons. It is caused when too much force is applied on the shin bone for too long. As a result, the tendons of the shin, that are the cord like structures that connect the bone to the muscle, get inflamed. As a result, there is a pain and swelling in the shin bone area.
The pain can be razor sharp at times or may be vague and dull ache at other times
How Do I Stop Shin Splints From Coming Back?
Shin splints can be very painful, and they may make you decide against performing any exercises at all. To prevent this from happening and to stop shin splints from coming back, you may consider some of the following tips and techniques-
- Good fitting shoes must be worn, that provide a good support while exercising. Replace the running shoes every 300-400 miles
- Shock- absorbent insoles are available these days, which can remarkably prevent shin splints from happening again and again
- You must not do exercises on a hard and uneven surface, slanting surface etc.
- The exercise intensity should not be increased abruptly, and you must go about it gradually
- Taking shorter strides during running can help in preventing shin splints
- During running, you must avoid heel striking and toe running. Make it as mid-foot as possible
- Running can be shocking for your system. It is better to cross train in between. Alternating between running and other exercises like cycling or swimming can help the body recover from that shock and prevent shin splits
- Do proper warm-up routine before starting any exercises
- Doing proper stretches before and during exercises
- Undergoing a strength training regime, particularly concentrating on toe exercises, which are responsible for building calf muscles
- Take proper rest when there is a pain.
- Exercising through the pain can make symptoms worse 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 set of muscles
- Any physical activity must be stopped in the presence of pain or any other abnormal physical signs and symptoms
- Take help of physiotherapists whenever needed
How To Treat Shin Splints?
Shin splints usually get better on their own. Given a proper rest, the shin splints often go away within days. However, if the problem persists, you may need to reach out for a few treatment methods.
Take enough rest:
Resting properly will give the body some time to heal itself. Shin splints often go away with proper rest
- Ice massage or a cold compress can help in alleviating the pain and swelling
- It should be done every 3 to 4 hours for about 20 to 30 minutes, over a period of 2 to 3 days; or till the pain and discomfort is gone
- Shock- absorbent insoles or orthotics can be used if the arches of your legs collapse or flatten whenever you are standing
- They are available over the counter or can be custom-made too
- Anti-inflammatory medications can help alleviate the inflammation and pain
- However, these medicines come with side effects
- It is better not to overuse or misuse them
- Use only when necessary and with proper consultation with a specialist
If the shin splints keep coming back, it is advisable to consult a physiotherapist. The physiotherapist will identify the exact problem of your shin splints and may help you recover quickly with the help of tailored exercises and stretches.
Shin splints are the most common leg injuries that are seen to be happening to runners or sportspersons. They are curable and preventable, and they go away on their own most of the times. You can prevent them by implementing some simple steps.
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