Oh The Pain In My Shin! What To Do For Shin Splints

Health & Medical Blog

If you're a runner, skater, or take part in any other athletics, you have probably felt a sharp pain in your shin. This pain is commonly referred to as shin splints. The pain can immediately end your workout and depending on how you treat it, you might find yourself waiting a few weeks to get back to doing what you love to do. This guide helps you understand what shin splints are, and what you can do to ease the pain.

What Are Shin Splints?

The medical term for shin splints is tibial stress syndrome. A sharp pain or dull ache appears to be coming from the shinbone, but it is not just the bone that's affected.

Repetitive stress on the shinbone and connective tissues around the bone can cause this pain. Additionally, a change in workout routines, or sudden stops in runners, skaters, and football players also cause shin splints.

As muscles work harder, the tissues that connect the muscles to the bone become stressed. The resulting pain goes away as soon as you stop the motion causing it, but returns when you start back up again.  

What Can You Do to Prevent Shin Splints?

Take part in some low impact exercises to strengthen the muscles and the connecting tissue of the shins before you change to a more intensive workout. The stronger your shin muscles are, the less of a chance you'll have of experiencing shin splints.

What Can You Do Once You Have Shin Splints?

Because the pain from shin splints can be more intense than your workout, stop what you are doing when you first feel the pain. Then follow these procedures to get back to your workout so that you can train your muscles in this area to take on higher intensity routines or sudden stops.

  • Ice the area for 15 to 20 minutes at a time for several hours a day for a few days.
  • Rest with your shins elevated as much as possible.
  • Strengthen the area with low impact exercises such as biking or swimming.
  • Take ibuprofen or acetaminophen as directed on the label.

See your doctor if your shin splints don't resolve within a week or two. There may be an underlying stress fracture causing the pain instead of shin splints. You may need some X-rays or other imaging tests if the problem is prolonged and debilitating enough to prevent you from walking without pain. To learn more, visit Personal Foot Care, LLC.


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