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Tuesday, April 5, 2022

How To Treat Shin Splints: Prevent And Cure The Painful Condition

Shin splints result from overuse of the lower-extremity muscles, resulting from walking for long periods, running, or hiking up steep inclines. The result? Increased pressure on the tibia causes pain and soreness. You’ll feel some tenderness and mild discomfort in the front or outside of your lower leg. The shin splints may or may not be accompanied by bruising, swelling, and redness in the affected area.

Photo by Nathan Cowley from Pexels
If you’ve been running long distances and experiencing discomfort in your shins, you’re not alone. Shin splints are one of the most common running injuries, and there are a few things you can do to prevent them and treat the pain.
As you are experiencing pain and discomfort in your shins, it is essential to give your legs a break. If you’ve been out running, stop as soon as possible and walk back to the car or home. Elevate your legs and keep them like this for at least twenty minutes when you get home. This will help decrease inflammation in your muscles by allowing the blood to flow more easily. You’ll also want to ice down any soreness.

Ice Your Shin

One effective way to treat shin splints is to ice and elevate your shin. This will reduce swelling and pain and promote blood flow in the area. You’ll need a towel or wrap and an ice pack to ice, or you can use cold water from the tap. Wrap your injured leg with a towel or wrap, then place the ice pack over the top of it. You should repeat this process several times a day for 10-15 minutes. Elevating your leg will reduce swelling in your shin by increasing blood flow to the area.

Use Supportive Products

This is the first thing you can do to prevent shin splints. There are various products on the market today that offer support for your shins, such as strap-on braces, sleeves, and neoprene sleeves or taping for shin splints. You’ll find these items in sporting goods stores or online.

Supportive products can help to relieve pressure on the tibia by spreading out the load. If you’re looking for relief from pain and soreness, a cushioning sleeve or neoprene sleeve should be enough to provide the support you need. But if you want added protection, opt for a strap-on brace or sleeve with an attached cup guard around your ankle.

Use supportive products before you start training again, so they have time to adequately adjust to your body and give your shins some relief - right away!

Take Pain Relief

Your first step should be to take over-the-counter pain relief. The most effective pain relief is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) such as ibuprofen, which you can find in the medicine cabinet or at your local store without a prescription. Ibuprofen will help relieve inflammation and reduce any swelling that may be present.

If you don’t have any ibuprofen on hand, you can also temporarily use a heating pad to relieve discomfort. When using a heating pad, be careful not to use it too often; heat treatments should only be done two or three times per day for 20 minutes to avoid skin burns.

How To Prevent Shin Splints

Shin splints are often caused by over usage of the lower extremities, but you can help to prevent them by doing the following;

1. Wearing the correct type of footwear
2. Stretching properly before exercising
3. Exercise on softer surfaces where possible
4. Strengthen your hip muscles
5. Strengthen your foot muscles

Paying attention to your overall workout and how it affects your body can help you avoid shin splints.
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