Shin splints can be uncomfortable. They can affect your everyday life, and keep you away from enjoyable activities. It is possible to prevent shin splints, and you can treat this condition if it has already occurred.
What Are Shin Splints?
Your tibia, also known as your shin bone, is the bone that is located in the front part of your lower leg. Shin splints can occur when there is increased activity that places stress on the bone tissue, tendons, and muscles in this area.
Some people are at a greater risk of shin splints. Military recruits, dancers, and runners are common examples. You may also develop shin splints if you are new to certain types of exercise, or have increased the intensity of your exercise routines.
Repetitive stress is the cause of shin splints. However, individuals who have high arches or flat feet also have a greater risk of developing shin splints.
Symptoms Of Shin Splints
Symptoms can include pain, soreness, or tenderness. Minor swelling may accompany these symptoms. The pain may or may not continue after you stop the activity.
If you do not stop the activity, the pain is likely to continue. At its worst, the bone may develop a stress fracture.
How To Treat Shin Splints
In most cases, minor shin splints are not difficult to treat, and will not worsen if treated appropriately.
Make rest a priority. While keeping your leg elevated, apply an ice pack. You can purchase an ice pack from your local pharmacy, or make one at home with a small waterproof plastic bag and ice from your freezer.
Most cases of shin splints do not require prescription painkillers. Aspirin or an aspirin-substitute should relieve the pain.
How To Prevent Shin Splints
There are some steps you can take to reduce your risk of shin splints. Whenever possible, reduce the intensity, frequency, and duration of your exercise routines. If you dance or run competitively, give yourself a break.
If you are a runner, take special note of the terrain you choose for running. Choose even terrain, and avoid hills. Do not run on concrete or other hard surfaces. How your foot lands is also important, or the foot strike. Landing on your heels can add extra stress to the shin muscles.
Regardless of your particular activity, always wear appropriate footwear. This will protect your feet, as well as the bones, tendons, and muscles in your legs. If you exercise on your own, seek expert advice from a personal trainer or your physician.
It is sensible to learn about the type of footwear that is appropriate for your activity, and to invest in good footwear. They may cost considerably more than the sneakers you are currently wearing, but they can keep your feet and leg bones healthy.
Do You Need To Visit A Doctor For Shin Splints?
It is not usually necessary to seek medical attention for shin splints, but there can be exceptions.
First, consider contacting your doctor if the treatments you are using do not work. It is possible that you have sustained an injury that requires medical treatment.
Second, talk to your doctor if you continue experiencing shin splints after modifying your activity. He can advise additional changes that can reduce your risk of this issue in the future.
An active life is a healthy life. Physical activity is good for every system and organ in your body. Too much, though, can result in pain. You can avoid shin splints, and effectively treat them if they do occur.