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6 Ways to Get Relief From Shin Splints

Tue, Feb. 16, 2016 Posted: 05:35 AM

If you consider yourself as a fitness enthusiast, chances are that you have taken up running as part of your exercise routine. While the benefits of running cannot be disputed, many health experts fail to highlight the potential pitfalls that are present in running activities. As your body endures increasing intensity of each workout, it becomes more exposed to various injuries.

Shin Splints
Shin splints are one of the most common injury that affects all runners. Statistics highlight that roughly 20% of runners will experience certain degree of shin splints throughout their physically active years. It should be pointed out that if you are active in other sports such as football, soccer and basketball, you are equally susceptible to this injury as well.

Shin splints present itself as a dull throbbing ache in the shins and can prove to be rather cumbersome if not given the proper treatment. While mild cases of shin splints can be cured with relative ease, persistent pain in the shins can be an indication of a stress fracture and professional treatment is required. In addition, Shin splints are muscle injuries and should not be confused with severe joint pain in the ankles.

Treatment Methods
Sadly, shin splints possess a subtle profile and are often sustained when you least expect. The evasive trait of shin splints makes it one of the most difficult injury to prevent. For this specific reason, shin splint treatments take on an added importance.

1. Decrease the intensity of workout
First and foremost, the initial course of action to be undertaken immediately upon the onset of shin splints is to decrease the intensity of the workout. By continuing or further increasing the intensity of the workout, you expose yourself to further damage and result in more serious injuries. In situations where the pain becomes unbearable, you should completely stop the exercise and seek medical help. Once you are positive of the prevalence of shin splints, it is time to prescribe treatment methods to help with pain management and start the recovery process.

2. Total Rest
In the past, health experts advise total rest as a form of treatment for shin splints. This treatment method works in a two-fold process. An extended period of rest allows your body to recuperate and provide the necessary nutrients to the shin to aid in its recovery. As Shin splints are a symptom of inflammation in the body, your immune system naturally identifies the problem and sends vital minerals that can effectively cure the injury. Next, the prescription of total rest ensures you do not place any substantial pressure on the shins. This eliminates the chances of further aggravating the injury.

3. Cryotherapy
This form of treatment is also known as cold therapy. By apply ice to the shins, it helps to reduce the pain and inflammation that are primary contributing factors to shin splints. While there are various cryotherapy treatment methods such as cryokinetics and cryostretching, these options are more readily available to professional athletes.

You can prescribe to homemade cryotherapy simply by applying ice to your shins, with each session lasting no more than 20 minutes. This cheap and easy treatment mode possesses the same benefits as professional cryotherapies, although in smaller doses.

4. Painkillers
When the pain becomes uncomfortable or unbearable for you, it might be a good idea to use over-the-counter painkillers such as ibuprofen and aspirin. These medications contain anti-inflammatory properties and effectively reduces the degree of pain.

5. Compression Sleeves
There has been an evident increase in the popularity of compression sleeves among professional athletes. This is due to the extensive benefits that it provides at each stage of the workout period. While most people wear them during physical activities to enhance their personal performance, compression sleeves also possess recovery characteristics that come in handy after each workout.

In the case of shin splints, wearing compression sleeves help to increase blood circulation to the lower legs. With improved blood flow and enhanced oxygen supply, the recovery period is significantly shortened. In addition, compression sleeves are also able to ease the signs and symptoms of joint pain and can effectively prevent the occurrence of serious injuries.

6. Physical Therapy
Last but not least, if you are constantly susceptible to shin splints, it might be wise to attend physical therapy sessions. Persistent shin splints might be a sign that your running technique is wrong and needs to be improved. It can also indicate certain defects with your legs that make you more vulnerable to these injuries. Consulting with a physical therapist helps to identify to main source of shin splints and further evaluation aids in your return to the spots scene.

The prevalence of shin splints has often gone under the radar as more focus is placed on other serious injuries such as torn ligaments and joint inflammation. As Shin splints are generally evasive towards preventive measures, you should be educated on the available modes of treatment. Through any of the five treatment methods listed above, you will be able to make a full recovery within the shortest period of time. This ensures that your shins are not compromised and enables you to make a quick return to the sports of your choice.


Claire John