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Best Shin Splints Treatment

Updated on June 19, 2013
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What are Shin Splints?

If you are a runner like me then you’ve experienced this type of injury and believe me, it is not fun to deal with. It seems like I am prone to this injury and for a long period of time I didn’t understand what was causing it until recently. Before I get into the mechanics of treatment for this injury it’s important to first understand what it is.

  • Usually occurs in beginning runners.
  • Considered an overuse injury- increasing mileage to quickly can cause this condition.
  • Thought to be inflammation of tendons and adjacent tissues in the front to outer leg.
  • Can last several days to weeks.
  • Can also be caused from the heel of a runner striking the pavement first placing stress on muscles.
  • Weak ankle muscles can contribute to causes which are seen in new runners.


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Preventative Measures

It is important if you are a beginning runner to stick to the 10% rule when increasing your mileage. For instance, if you are running 3 miles for two weeks and wish to increase your mileage, then you increase it by 10% of 3 miles or 3.3 miles. You then run 3.3 miles for two weeks before increasing again. Now, the two weeks is not set in stone but if you are new to running, then make sure you increase your mileage slowly until your body is used to the pounding on the pavement.

Stretching is probably the most neglected activity in sports and unfortunately this can cause a cluster of injuries that can have a significant impact on your ability to perform at peak levels. It is imperative for the quality of the workout to stretch with the intention of performing at your best. I passively stretched for years not really paying attention to specific stretches and working the muscles which ultimately caused many injuries. I know spend at least 15 minutes stretching and then I jog about a quarter to a half mile to wake my legs up. Everyone from beginners to marathon runners must stretch adequately before each event or routine.

Shin Splints Treatment

There are plenty of remedies on the internet. I have personally struggled with this condition of years and now I can run without worrying about this type of injury mainly because of preventative measures I take to ensure this condition does not flare up. Here are some popular and effective home remedies you can try.

  • As soon as you notice pain after running, place ice on the area for a few minutes. Take off the ice for a few minutes and then reapply. I would do this over a period of about 30 minutes over the first 24 hours. It’s crucial to catch injuries within the first 24 hours.
  • You can buy and apply an ankle wrap to add support to the strained tissues and tendons.
  • Stop running for at least 3-7 days depending on how bad the pain is. Listen to your body!
  • Massage the tender area for several minutes. This will help the tendons and tissues relax.
  • Drink plenty of water! Hydration can help with many running injuries.
  • Buy some kind of body ache cream like Icy Hot. That has helped a ton in the past!
  • Try some toe raises to strengthen your calves and ankles. This is a preventative measure.

Overall, this injury is not serious in the early stage. If you continue to run on it and the pain becomes worse, you run the risk of a stress fracture which will keep you from running for weeks if not months. I can’t stress it enough that you must listen to your body and stop when pain starts. I know it can be annoying and you feel like you’re getting behind but a few days off is better than weeks or months off because of further injury. A doctor can give you a diagnoses and perhaps some physical therapy or home exercises could be prescribed but for most, icing the area, taking a few days off and working on strengthening the ankle and calf muscles will do the trick.

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  • jpcmc profile image

    JP Carlos 5 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

    Warming up and cooling down are vital to keep one in healthy condition. Likewise getting enough rest helps a lot. Your tips here excellent.

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