Shin splints pain, which includes pain in both the interior and anterior shins, can come on gradually, but quickly develop into a very painful running injury. How do you get rid of shin splints? It will take a lot of patience and care, but it is possible to get rid of shin splints if you adhere to the following tips.
Causes of Shin Splints Pain
Shin splints occur when runners incorporate increased mileage, intense speed-work and racing into their training without easing into the new workload. Because of this, shin splints are probably the number one injury for beginning runners and athletes who are returning to training after a long break.
How to Get Rid of Shin Splints Pain
RICE: RICE stands for “rest, ice, compression, and elevation”. It is the default treatment for essentially any running injury. The first letter, “R”, is perhaps the most important. If you are feeling hamstring pain, don’t try to tough it out! Take at least two days off and give your body a chance to heal! As for the last three letters, I have found that the best way to carry out “ICE” is to follow this method: 1) Freeze water in a paper cup in the freezer, 2) When frozen, take the block of ice out of the freezer and roll it over your shins for about 10 minutes, 3) Afterward, wrap an ace bandage or towel around your leg and, while lying on your back, prop your leg up on a chair, 4) After 10 minutes, take the towel/ace
bandage off and repeat steps 1-3, 5) Try to do this at least 2-3 times per day.
NSAIDs: “NSAID” stands for Non-steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drug. NSAIDs include Aspirin, Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil, Motrin IB), Naproxen (Aleve). NSAIDs do a great job at reducing inflammation in the body and promoting healing. While these drugs may help you if you are hurt, please be careful not to abuse the drugs. Only take them for about a 2 week period because extended use can really do bad things to your kidneys. I have heard some horror stories about runners who used NSAIDs for months on end who are now suffering from serious kidney issues. Therefore, make sure to use NSAIDs if you have a shin splint problem, but please don’t overuse them.
Get new shoes: Running in old, worn out running shoes is the number one culprit for shin splint pain. Remember that running shoes only last for about 300 to 500 miles of running. Road Runner Sports has a special discount for Runner’s Resource users.
LIGHT stretching: As shin splints pain starts to disappear, incorporate some very light stretching to increase mobility and lengthen the muscle a bit to promote healing. Be very careful not to overstretch. One good way to stretch the shin is, while standing, grab the top of the foot of your affected leg as if you were trying to stretch your quad muscles. Try to pull on the top of your foot until you feel a light stretch in your shin. Hold for 30 seconds, rest, and repeat.
See a professional: If you have developed chronic shin issues that just won’t heal, the only way to get rid of shin splint pain might be to see a professional sports medicine physician and/or a physical therapist as soon as possible. Also consider seeing a good massage therapist. Sometimes massage therapists can work wonders in loosening up shin muscles and nursing them back to their pre-injury condition. These health professionals can help you get rid of shin splints that refuse to heal.
Keep a running log: Although a running log will not cure an injury, it can help you discover why an injury occurred. By tracking your workouts, you will be able to find errors in your training (i.e. not taking enough rest) that cause injuries to happen. Without the help of a running log, it is highly likely that you will continually repeat past training errors and suffer future injuries. The best way to start keeping a log is to sign up for a Runner’s Resource online running log.
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