Shin splints can often become one of the most frustrating and painful conditions to deal with. Without the proper treatment and recovery tools, the pain caused by shin splints can get bad enough to even take you out of the sport you play or the exercise routine you enjoy.
Just because you have shin splints doesn’t mean you have to stop exercising, playing sports, or running. There are tools you can use that can keep you in the game and decrease your pain.
Medial tibial stress syndrome (MTSS) or shin splints is a very painful condition that strikes you below your knees. Usually, the pain is on the front of your leg either on the outside part known as anterior shin splints or on the inside of your leg known as medial shin splints or in some cases both.
This injury can be the result of small tears in the muscles, inflammation in the muscle and tissue, swelling of the thin tissue that is wrapped around your tibia (shin bone), or muscle being slightly torn off of your bone. It can also be caused be any combination of these.
Doing too much of something too fast, i.e. greatly increasing running mileage at once, is a common way you may acquire this injury. It is also common among people just getting into athletics or exercise because the body has not had adequate time to adjust to the stresses of sports or running. Generally, shin splints are commonly the result of overusing the muscles and other tissues around your shin bone.
Some risk factors you should be aware of are improper stretching or not stretching at all, using old and worn out shoes, and putting too much stress on one leg, i.e. running on uneven ground. Always running the same way on the track can also put you at risk. Shin splints can affect one or both of your legs but will often strike your dominant one.
Get Back In The Game
Shin splints no longer have to completely prevent you from engaging in any athletic activity. There are things you can do at home as well as wearable tools you can use to keep going. If you think you have shin splints you should always get advice from your physical therapist or physician as with any injury.
Compression can play a big role with shin splints, there are even compression sleeves made for this injury. These compression sleeves can help reduce your level of pain while stimulating blood and oxygen flow to the damaged tissues. This helps promote recovery while also giving your athletic performance a nice little boost. Since these sleeves are normally worn for extended periods of time you will most likely want to find one that is made from a washable material.
While at home you may want to keep your injured leg or legs elevated to help decrease the level of swelling and pain you experience. You should also employ ice packs; using ice therapy can aid in reducing your pain and inflammation from shin splints. Last but not least, give yourself time to rest. Rest plays a significant role in the healing process because it gives your body time to repair itself.
Shin splints can become extremely painful ignored when left untreated and can also potentially lead to more significant and complex injuries. Once you have recovered from having shin splints, continue to wear your compression sleeves as they can help prevent the injury from reoccurring.