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Do you suffer from Shin Splints?

Shin splints or ‘medial tibial stress syndrome’ are a common injury amongst runners. So, if you’ve recently started or ramped up your running program, read on to learn how to identify, treat, and manage shin splints.


WHAT ARE SHIN SPLINTS?

Are your shins tender after exercise and you are experiencing pain along the shinbone that seems to get worse when you run or exercise, this could be shin splints. Shin splints is where you may experience pain and inflammation along the front of the leg. The pain can be felt from the knee to the ankle along the shinbone.


WHAT CAUSES SHIN SPLINTS?

Inflamed muscles/tendons and tight calf muscles, coupled with overuse are thought to cause shin splints. If you’ve recently increased your training and are now experiencing pain along your shinbone as a result, taking a step back may be needed as well as seeking treatment.

Another common cause of shin splints is wearing old or poorly fitted trainers to exercise. Look at your shoes are they worn out and no longer giving you the support you need? If the answer is yes then your shoes could be contributing to your shin splints.

WHAT CAN YOU DO TO HELP SHIN SPLINTS?

It will be the last thing you want to do but taking a break from running or high-impact activities is the fastest way to heal from shin splints. If you try to push through, it will take longer for your shins to heal. If you’re concerned about losing fitness, you could try low impact training options such as cycling or swimming while you recover.

Tips to help you recover from shin splints:

  • Use ice therapy – e.g Place an ice pack to the shin for 10 minutes, aiming for 2-3 times per day.

  • Take a break from the aggravating exercise until the shin splints have healed.

  • Switch to low impact exercise such as cycling, yoga or swimming.


CAN SPORTS MASSAGE THERAPY HELP TO TREAT SHIN SPLINTS?

Yes, physical therapy is a common treatment for shin splints. As therapists, we assess your symptoms, your running style, and any muscular imbalances that may be contributing to your shin pain. We work with you to come up with an appropriate treatment plan to help get you back to exercise as quickly and safely as possible.


PREVENTING SHIN SPLINTS

Once you have recovered, you can take preventative steps to reduce your risk of getting shin splints again.

  • Get your gait analysis done for your trainers as this will ensure they are during the correct job for your feet.

  • Make sure you warm up and cool down properly

  • Increase your running or exercise gradually.

  • Include cross training with lower impact activities such as cycling, walking or swimming within your training program.

  • Incorporate strength training into your workouts, especially in the calves.


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