Before we venture into today’s topic of “tips for avoiding shin splints”, we should examine just what shin splints are and the symptoms that can indicate you have them.
What Are Shin Splints?
Medial tibial stress syndrome or shin splints are caused by stress on the shinbone and the connective tissue that attaches to bones, which then become inflamed and painful. Your shins will ache and throb after athletic activities or even just a short jog to catch the bus.
Some Symptoms of Shin Splints
Symptoms of shin splints are varied and can include:
- Dull ache in the front part of the lower leg
- Pain on the shin bone
- Muscle pain, including along the inner part of the calf
- Swelling in the lower leg
- Numbness and/or weakness in the feet
There are several different causes that can lead to shin splints, including:
- Flat feet or overpronation — occurs when the impact of a step causes the foot’s arch to collapse
- Ill-fitting shoes
- Shoes without good support
- Weak ankles, hips, or core muscles
- Working out without properly warming up or cooling down
- Shin splints can also occur if sudden changes are made to a workout to make it more intense, more frequent or longer.
Tips for Avoiding Shin Splints
There are several tips that you can follow that can help you avoid this often painful condition.
- Don’t increase mileage, intensity or frequency of your workouts too fast.
- Try to run on softer surfaces as running our working out on hard surfaces increase the stress and impact on your bones, muscles and joints
- Allow plenty of rest and recovery time
- Wear the right shoes
- Exercises such as toe raises
- Stretch and cool down properly — Try to include location-specific stretches such as calf stretches
Treating Shin Splints
Shin splints will usually heal on their own; however, if you are experiencing severe pain and inflammation, you should seek medical attention. Try the following to alleviate the symptoms:
- Rest to allow healing
- Icing can reduce pain and swelling
- Use insoles or orthotics in your shoes
- Anti-inflammatory medication can help, for example, ibuprofen, aspirin or naproxen
Wearing compression calf sleeves can also help heal shin splints. Compression sleeves can help reduce swelling, which will reduce the pain level. Wearing them before, during and after a workout can help with the workout along with the recovery process because your circulation levels will be increased.
If you need more information about the benefits of compression gear in preventing and healing shin splints, please give us a call at ZeroPoint. We can also help you choose the best compression wear for your individual needs and requirements.