My husband Eddie and I went for a run the other day. Half way through my husband was complaining of an awful pain running up and down his shins. He had shin splints so bad that he had to stop running and walk the rest of the way. Since shin splints are such a common injury among runners, I decided I would do some research and write a blog about what they are and how to treat them.
According to the MayoClinic,
"The term "shin splints" refers to pain along the shinbone (tibia) — the large bone in the front of your lower leg. The pain is the result of an overload on the shinbone and the connective tissues that attach your muscles to the bone."
At first, you will only feel pain in your shin while running or jogging. If you do not take care of it, eventually, you will start to feel pain all the time and you might even experience some swelling.
If treated properly and taken care of, shin splints are no reason to give up working out (sorry babe!). As soon as you start to feel pain in your shin during running or any type of aerobic exercise, treat it immediately:
- Rest- do not run every day, take a day off in between to rest your legs. If you have to work out every day, do the bike, swim, or do some weights every other day to allow your shins to heal. Cross-training, is a very good way to prevent overuse injuries!
- Ice your shins after you workout for at least twenty minutes- this will ease the swelling and pain.
- Take some Advil- this will not only help ease the pain, but will also help ease the inflammation. Just be careful and don't over-do it or take Advil to try to "run through the pain"
- Never ever ever ever run through the pain! If it hurts when you are running, stop and rest. Do not just deal with the pain and keep going. This will almost certainly lead to a much more serious injury that will have you taking a much longer break from working out than every other day!
- Where proper shoes- make sure you invest in good quality running shoes, they can make a huge difference in the amount of pain you feel when running! Go to a running store and ask the salesperson for a gait analysis, this will help determine exactly the type of shoe that is right for you.
- Invest in some generic arch supports or talk to your doctor about getting customized arch supports. These can reduce the stress that running has on your shin bones.
- If none of the above work, go see a doctor and stop running for the time being.
These tips are not only helpful for curing shin splints, but also for preventing them in the first place. If you are doing all of the above, you should never have to worry about developing shin splints and your chances of injury will be lessened greatly. Do yourself a favor, never give yourself an excuse to stop working out. Take care of yourself, prevent injury, and enjoy a long and fruitful life of running and working out!
Here are some useful web sites to learn more about shin splints