What are shin splints anyway?
Shin splints is a general term used to describe exercise-induced pain in the front of the lower legs, or shins. This is brought on by strenuous activities and exercise, particularly running, jumping and playing sports.
Sports like football, sprinting, tennis and basketball are mostly caused by shin splints.
If you ignore it and continue to exercise it can become very painful and you may have to stop exercising altogether.
It is really important not to push through the pain because shin pains could be a sign of an injury to the bone so here are 10 easy steps to stop and prevent shin splints.
Protect yourself by strengthening your feet, ankles and calves.
1. One-legged bridges
Lay on the floor with your feet flat and knees bent. Raise one leg off of the ground, pulling the knee to your chest. This will be your starting position. Execute the movement by driving through the heel, extending your hip upward and raising your glutes off of the ground.
2. Calf raises
Stand on the edge of a step, stand tall with your abdominals pulled in, with the balls of your feet firmly planted on the step and your heels hanging over the edge. Raise your heels a few inches above the edge of the step so that you’re on your tiptoes. Hold the position for a moment and then lower you heels below the platform, feeling a stretch in your calf muscles.
3. Supine Hamstrings Stretch
Lie flat on your back on the floor, grab the back of one knee and pull it towards you. Keeping that knee pulled towards you extend that leg to the celling until you feel a stretch whist keeping your opposite leg still planted on the floor. Hold this position for 15 to 30 seconds and switch legs.
4. Soleus Stretch
Stand near a wall with your hands placed against it. Keeping your arm full extended step your right foot forward a few inches and bend your knee whilst keep your left leg straight. Now bend your elbows and lean into the wall. Hold for 30 seconds, switch leg and repeat.
Treatment and prevention
5. Massage with Ice
Get an icepack, wrap it in a kitchen towel and massage with comfortable pressure along the inside of the shinbone for 10 to 15 minutes after each activity.
6. Build Strength Gradually
Try not too run too much too soon, increase your speed and distance gradually. If you have just started running or playing sports you’re not going to run 5 miles in under 7 minuets.
7. Different Activities
“Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result is the definition of insanity”. Try different activities like cycling, rowing and swimming which are less impact on your joints.
8. Use a Supportive Shoe
Wearing unsupportive shoe when training and playing sports do not have arch support. The foot is rolling and over pronating, this will make shin splints very common when taking part in sporting activities. When buying the perfect running shoes make sure you shop around for the right fit, getting expert advice from someone at the running store is your best choice.
9. Get the Pain Diagnosed
See your GP if the pain does not improve. They will investigate other possible causes such as reduced blood supply to the lower leg, a leg muscle bulging out of place or swelling of the leg muscle that compresses nearby nerves and blood vessels.
10. Wearing Compression
Wearing sports legging or football socks will help prevent leg swelling and to a lesser extent prevent blood clots. If you visit a GP he/she may prescribe compressions stockings.
Hopefully you don’t suffer from shin splits yet if you’re on the the unfortunate ones let us know in the comments below what your remedy is.