Shin splints is a condition that mostly affects runners. The following HealthHearty article provides information on the symptoms of this condition.
Shinbone, which is medically referred to as tibia, is one of the two long bones present in the lower leg. This large bone is present in the front of the lower leg. In case of running and sports wherein there are sudden stops and starts, this bone might be subjected to a lot of stress. Pain could develop along or behind this bone due to extreme stress.
This pain is medically referred to as medial tibial stress syndrome. Commonly referred to as shin splints, this pain is commonly experienced by runners, or those who play tennis, basketball, or soccer. It could also affect dancers. Increasing the intensity of workouts and running on a different kind of surface might be the contributing factors.
As mentioned earlier, the affected person is likely to experience pain in the lower leg.
- The pain is felt in front of the lower leg below the knee.
- The inner part of the lower leg might feel tender or sore.
- The pain will be felt during the workout, and it will lessen before it sets in again at the end of the workout.
- Initially, the person may not feel any sensation of pain while he is running or exercising, until he stops. However, over time, the pain may become continuous and may force the person to take a break from his workouts.
Taking ample rest is an integral part of the treatment. Refrain from performing any physical activity which might worsen your pain. It is important that you rest at the very first sign of shin pain.
Apply cold compresses or ice packs on the affected area for about 15 – 20 minutes. Do not apply the ice pack directly to the skin. Wrap it in a clean towel. Follow this method 4 – 8 times a day for several weeks. Application of ice packs will certainly bring down the swelling, and lower the intensity of pain.
While sleeping at night, elevate the affected leg a little, so that it’s at the same level as that of the heart. Alternatively, the affected area can be compressed with a compression sleeve. Take care that the wrap is not too tight, as that may aggravate the pain or swelling.
Several over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs and painkillers are available that will provide relief from pain. Consult a chemist and get the appropriate drug to reduce the pain. Take it as per the recommended dosage.
While you are recuperating from the condition, you may go for exercises such as swimming, water running, and other such low-impact exercises. Make sure that you wear shoes that are comfortable, and fit you perfectly. The shoes should be appropriate for the sport.
It is wise to go for arch supports as well. These supports reduce the level of stress which is exerted on the shinbones, by providing cushion and acting like shock absorbers.
Always start with a warm-up session, giving your muscles ample time to prepare for workouts. Practice low-impact sports like swimming, water running, etc., along with your regular high-impact sports. Give a good amount of time to get used to any new activity, before you increase the intensity of the workout. Always increase the intensity of a workout gradually.
Don’t ever run on hard surfaces. Wearing the right kind of shoes is also an important factor, which every athlete should keep in mind. Not only this, wear shoes which are designed for a particular sport type.
To conclude, incorporate exercises such as toe raises in your daily exercise schedule. Such exercises help in strengthening the shinbones and thus, lower the risk of shin splints. Since people who have flat feet are susceptible, they must consider getting custom-made arch supports for the shoes. The use of orthotics will surely lower the risk.