How to Prevent and Treat Shin Splints
Shin splints are an injury that commonly happens to runners. They are painful and can put a hold on your running regimen for several days while they heal. It’s best to learn how to prevent them in the first place and treat them, so they heal quickly and with less pain when they do happen.
Prevention of Shin Splints
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and that saying is so true with shin splints. If you prevent them in the first place, you won’t be sidelined on your workouts. You need to start with a good foundation. Choose shoes with enough support and cushion. You should go to a shoe store which has a professional to evaluate your feet for the right kind of shoe.
Warm up before you go running. Do exercises to increase mobility in your legs and ankles. Don’t forget to stretch properly before and after your workouts. Work on strength training for your legs and your core as well.
You can reduce the severity of the shin splints if you stop working out as soon as you notice any pain. Healing time may be less than if you try to work through the pain.
Treatment of Shin Splints
If you feel pain along your shin, it’s possibly a shin splint. You can go to the doctor, but many times they will heal on their own. To help them heal faster and to have less pain, follow these steps:
- Rest – take a few days off from running while your shin heals
- Use ice – ice will help reduce swelling and pain, so do it every few hours for the next two or three days or until you don’t have any more pain
- Take OTC drugs – anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen will help reduce the pain
- Put orthotics in your shoes – shoe inserts may help as you walk if you have collapsed or flat arches
- See a physical therapist – they can give you exercises to help with healing and to prevent the issue in the future
While shin splints are not usually dangerous, they can derail your workout until they heal. Work to prevent them so you can keep running. If you get a shin splint, treat it so you can get back to exercising in a shorter amount of time.