How To Get Rid Of Shin Splints And Prevent

Shin splints are commonly caused by the overuse of the shins. They are a common type of injury that can be prevented by stretching, strengthening, and protecting your shins. Let’s face it: shin splints are tough. One day, you’re running two miles with ease, but the next day, you may be struggling to run one block without pain.

Now, you might be thinking: “Ugh. I don’t have time for this! It just won’t work anyway.” However, exercise can really help you get rid of splints and pain. You should give it a try and see how it goes!

What Are Shin Splints?

Shin Splints

Shin splints are one of the most common exercise injuries around! Also known as medial tibial stress syndrome (MTSS), shin splints cause a dull, throbbing, or radiating pain on the front or back of the lower leg. Pain can be anything from uncomfortable to debilitating.

People who exercise often or increase their training without guidance are more likely to experience this because of injuries in the muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Shin splints are one that happens commonly with runners and people who walk a lot. Increasing your training intensity without warming up and stretching a few times first can increase the likelihood of suffering from shin splints.

Wearing shoes or boots that don’t fit properly, for example, too narrow or poorly cushioned. Performing activities in a way that puts undue strain on your shins. Playing a sport or engaging in activities that require the use of your feet.

Symptoms of Shin Splints

Other symptoms and sensations may also occur, including:

  • shin pain
  • mild swelling
  • pain brought on or specifically made worse by exercise
  • feet numbness or weakness

What Causes Shin Splints?

Shin Splints

Shin splints are fairly common and can be caused by numerous factors. Some people may develop them after overtraining, while others may struggle from fatigue or push themselves too hard. Shin splints are actually caused by a lot of factors, including intense running, but are also common in sedentary runners. Common causes of shin splints include:

  • Near-death experiences can have a huge impact on us, but these things don’t just happen and are not exclusively for people who are training for a marathon. The intensity of near misses can trigger an emotional upheaval.
  • It’s better to work out on softer surfaces, like grass, that offers more shock absorption than hard surfaces, like concrete.
  • Poor running mechanics. “Overpronation” is a term for the twisting motion of your feet as you run or walk. This can cause damage to joints and decrease performance.
  • Over supination (rolling your feet outward as you walk or run)
  • Excessive stress on your legs
  • Try doing some push-ups in your worn-out shoes, or wear thinner socks.
  • Lack of flexibility or stretching
  • Flat feet
  • Muscular imbalance (overly tight calves)

Whatever caused your shin splints, it’s best to take a break from activities that place excessive strain on your legs, such as jogging. Let’s examine some ways you can treat shin splints at home.

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6 Ways To Treat Shin Splints

Shin splints are often the result of a cause that is identifiable, such as overuse or impact trauma. If you think this might be the case for you, there are some short-term steps you can take at home to ease the pain:

1. Take A Break

It’s common to want to “go big or go home” when training for a race or beginning an exercise regimen, but doing too much too fast is what often causes shin splints. Acute symptoms like soreness may seem like a sign that you can’t go on, but in reality, it could be your body telling you that it’s time to slow down.

Runners experience pain from the increased amount of running, so you should take a break from your workouts to let your body recover and feel better. However, if you’re not taking care of your body, you might be making the problem worse. Take some time off to see how it feels and reconsider how long and hard you run.

2. Ice!

Ice can help with any injuries, but you should use heat for something that is more chronic. For example, use ice for shin splints and apply heat to injured muscles in your shoulder or leg. If there are still signs of swelling, it may be because the injury is new and didn’t have time to fully heal yet.

3. Switch Surfaces

A long run doesn’t have to feel like torture if you’re pounding the pavement on a soft surface instead of a hard one. The impact will be lower, which will make your muscles happy. Move your walking/running routine to a softer surface for a few weeks.

Consider exercising on a treadmill, grass, gravel, or sand. If you are lucky enough to live near a beach, take advantage of it! A change in terrain will reduce the shock that travels through the legs.

4. Check Your Gait

Oftentimes, we’re not even aware of how we move our feet when we walk because it’s second nature to us! But if you rotate your foot too far in any direction when running or walking, you can definitely develop shin splints. A local running store may be able to help with a gait analysis.

​If you walk across the room, your podiatric practitioner can usually tell if you overpronate or over supinate. If you overpronate or over supinate, purchasing orthotic shoe inserts can also be beneficial.

5. Pace Yourself

Increase your outdoor mileage gradually. Running or sprinting an instant 5K after a winter-long hibernation will leave your muscles overworked. Practice moderation by slowly working your way up in mileage so that your body isn’t struggling. Shin splints will be less of an issue.

6. Cross-Train

Doing the same thing over and over can put stress on your body and your feet, not to mention the fact that it’s boring! Cross-training offers variety, muscle relaxation, and can offer a change of pace. If you’re a serious runner, consider switching up your routine. Try swimming or high-impact HIIT workouts like Pilates and spin classes.

This exercise routine can really help with joint pain and decrease your risk for injuries. It allows each muscle group to recover from one another during the course of the day, which can lead to greater overall well-being.