Guide to Shin Splints and Tricks to Manage the Pain

Exercises and aggressive sporting activities bring out the best in enthusiasts and players. They can help boost general wellness and can help tone the body, provided that they are done the right way in correct settings.

When these regular exercises and aggressive sporting activities are overdone, certain injuries will develop. These things are expected, and its best that careful attention should be practiced when doing exercises to avoid common injuries that are associated with the sports. When these are experienced, it pays to understand the injury and find ways to treat it and avoid it altogether.  When it comes to a comprehensive listing of sporting injuries, one common complaint among athletes and sporting enthusiasts is shin splints.

How Shin Splints (Shin Pain) Develop and Worsen

Shin splits injuries are common, and these will generally refer to the pain felt during exercises.  They normally develop in the shins or the front of the lower legs. Shin splints are usually felt after an aggressive activity especially in sporting activities where there are sudden starts and stops. The pain is often a complaint among many tennis and basketball players, but most cases target runners and the aggressive walkers. The pain will start in the shin bone or the tibia, and the painful sensation will then move towards the inner part of the shin.   Shin splints or shin pain will also develop if there are weak ankle muscles or the presence of tight achilles tendon.

Some individuals will not easily acknowledge the shin splints since these will start off as a dull and aching pain. If the pain and sensation is not immediately addressed, then the dull pain can turn into something serious that will give the person no choice but to stop the activity or the exercise program.

When one feels the sign of shin splints, it’s best to address the pain immediately. There’s a big chance that the pain is an indication of an injury to the bone and the tissues.  If the person continues with the activity, then pain will worsen. As soon as pain is felt, it’s best to stop the activity that is causing the pain.

Diagnosing and Verifying Shin Splints

Pain in the shins or at the front of the lower legs is an indication that there’s a problem that must be addressed immediately. But this must be confirmed first by a doctor’s diagnosis before further medications and treatment options can be considered. Usually, the attending doctor will conduct a physical examination of the affected part and a review of the medical history of the patient. An area where there’s ‘local tenderness’ will indicate shin splints.

There are specialized tests that can be conducted, but normally these are considered if the results of the physical tests are not conclusive. Some popular tests that are made include an MRI scan or an x-ray.

How to Address the Pain Associated With Shin Splints

There are a few steps that you can take to alleviate the pain that comes with shin splints. Here are some of the best things that you can do to start feeling well.

Use ice packs to relieve the pain- Ice packs are the most basic things that can be used to help reduce the pain in the shins. Use your ice packs for 10 to 15 minutes daily to get pain relief.

Use kinesio taping when doing physical activities or before running- The idea behind the use of this taping can be attributed to the concept introduced by Dr. Kenzo Kase in 1973.  A few strips of this taping in the body can help manage the pain. This can be worn most of the time, and can be worn when walking or running.

Take over-the-counter anti-pain medications.  There are some anti-pain medications like ibuprofen that can be used to relieve the pain and inflammation associated with shin splints.

Other Things to Remember When Addressing Shin Splints

Shin splints occur when there is a muscle imbalance and if the calf muscles are stronger the shin muscles. It is highly recommended to take on strengthening exercises as another way to treat shin splints. Heel walks can serve as great exercise routines, but you can also do exercises while you are just sitting or stationary. This can be done by simply sitting upright in a chair putting a dumbbell (roughly a kilo) vertically between the feet and gently squeezing its weight to keep it in position.

Start by pointing your toes towards the floor, and try moving your toes upwards to a height that you can manage. This can serve as one repetition, and a good exercise for your muscles will require you to complete three sets of 12 repetitions.

Strenuous activities should be stopped followed by complete rest for at least two weeks. By doing this, pain will gradually subside and the sporting activities can be resumed slowly.

When it comes to managing shin splints, it is best to work for long term health and to prevent shin splints from reoccurring. For example, it’s best to invest in appropriate running shoes with complete cushioning support. It is also best if you can start using supportive insoles best for those with flat feet. Finally, tapping into exercises that can boost flexibility and strength will help in the long run.