Running is one of the easiest sports to pick up, especially when we live in a beautiful city that has smooth running paths everywhere. However, some care and technique should be taken to avoid injuries. It is useful for runners to know about the symptoms and treatments for common running injuries.
Shin splints (shin pain) or tibial stress syndrome, is an extremely common repetitive strain injury in runners and running athletes. It can be impressively complicated and stubborn, in part because there are several possible overlapping causes, some of them much more subtle and less “mechanical” than most people ever suspect.
What are the Symptoms of Shin Splints?
- Shin splints cause dull, aching pain in the front of the lower leg.
- Depending on the exact cause, the pain may be located along either side of the shinbone or in the muscles.
- The area may be painful to the touch.
What are the causes of shin splints?
Shin splints are caused by exercising too hard or too much. Runners, dancers, and gymnasts are most at risk for shin splints.
- Increasing your training too quickly
- Running on hard or angled surfaces
- Insufficient rest between loads
- Improper progression of training
Besides over training, there are some risk factors that make it more likely for you to get shin splints:
- Change in running surface
- Flat arches or overpronation during walking / running (posterior shin splints)
- Improper footwear
- Running in old shoes that are past their life
How to prevent shin splint?
There are several things you can do to avoid shin splints.
- Don’t exercise too hard, too quickly. Work up slowly to longer distances or more intense exercise routines.
- Be sure to stretch and warm up before exercising
- Use ice on your shins to avoid swelling
- Don’t exercise on hard surfaces if you can
- Wear shoes that provide the right support and cushion
- Do lower-impact exercises like biking or swimming
- If you already have shin splints, take your time and don’t get back to exercising too quickly.
What are the treatment options?
Experts agree that when shin splints strike you should stop running completely or decrease your training depending on the extent and duration of pain. Then, as a first step, ice your shin to reduce inflammation. Here are some other treatments you can try:
- Stretching exercises
- Arch supports for your shoes, or get shoes that absorb shock better.
- Visit a physical therapist. They can help with the pain or teach you ways to treat it yourself.
For any advice and consultation, do not hesitate to book an appointment with us at Rapid Physiocare!