Any runner who has ever suffered from shin splints will confirm that it is anything but pleasant and extremely painful. If you have succumbed to it – keep calm and read on…
Here’s a list of several effective ways to treat shin splints:
Prevention is better than cure
As we mentioned in the article, Form Matters. Work on it, running with a heel striking technique can cause shin splints. Practice proper running form and utilise a forefoot running style to reduce the risk of picking up shin splints.
Use minimalist running shoes
Run in a minimalist shoe that will promote a forefoot running style. We’ve featured some brilliant minimalist running shoes from inov-8, for trail (men’s and women’s), well as road (men’s and women’s) – check them out, you won’t regret it.
Ice your shin
Icing your shin is an effective way to reduce swelling as well as pain. If you are prepared to do this regularly for about half an hour, every three to four hours for at least three days or maybe longer, you could soon be pain free.
Use anti-inflammatory painkillers
Consult with your pharmacist about what is a good anti-inflammatory painkiller. Steer clear of the steroidal variety as they are not great, health-wise. While it will reduce pain and swelling, be sure to take it only as prescribed, since many of them can have horrible side effects during prolonged usage.
Have a rest
As simplistic as this may sound, it is a very effective form of treatment. By resting adequately, you will give the muscles along your shin bones time to heal uninterruptedly and inflammation will also reduce.
Compress your shin
Compress your shin by wrapping it in bandage, or by using a guard that fits over your lower leg. As a result of the muscles being compressed and the limiting of muscle movement, pain is reduced.
The application of heat to the shin region will provide compression, helping to reduce strain on the afflicted muscles. Blood will also flow more freely to the muscles to assist with the healing process.
Change up your training
While this is not recommended as rest is essential, but if you are one of those people who cannot cope with staying inactive, then try doing something that is not going to put too much strain on your shins. Try cycling, swimming or even light jogging in a pool.
Perform some rehabilitation exercises
It should be noted that the following exercises are great for both prevention and recovery and they should be practiced about three times a day, diligently:
1. While sitting, use your toes to trace the alphabet on the floor. Make sure that you do this with both legs.
2. Another exercise for you to practice is alternating walking on your heels for about thirty seconds with another thirty seconds of walking normally – do this about four times per session.
Shin splints are a dreadful reality that glares at many runners, but that does not mean that you have to just accept the discomfort. Follow the about suggestions to pain-free days.
Have you ever had shin splints? If so, how did you treat it that helped?