How To Manage Shin Splint Pain


How To Manage Shin Splint Pain

Have you ever gone for a walk or jog only to later that day or the next morning feel aches and pains all through your shins? This uncomfortable pain is commonly referred to as “shin splints”. And, it’s not something that many people enjoy very much!

Shin splints refer to pain that is felt anywhere between the knee and ankle. This type of pain is mostly felt by those who play sports or enjoy running, however, some people may experience it after vigorous walking if they do not walk long distances very often. If you’ve ever woken up in the morning after exercise and you’re unsure if you are experiencing shin splint pain, we go over the basics to help determine if this is what you’re going through. 

What causes shin splints?

The exact cause of shin splints is unknown. What many believe is that the pain could be caused by muscles and tendons that run the length of the shin could be pulling on the pain. Therefore, this leads to pain and inflammation. However, some newer research also suggests that the pain could stem from a stress reaction from the bone.  

What are the symptoms of shin splints?

There are a few different symptoms and they can vary from person to person. But, pain across the shin is one of the most common features of such an injury. The main symptoms include:

  • Pain and aches flowing along the shinbone
  • It is sore to touch the area there is pain
  • The area may also be tender
  • You may experience redness and inflammation in the shin region
  • You may experience pain before, during and/or after exercise such as running

Reasons you may experience shin splints

Although there isn’t a specific reason that you may be experience shin splint pain, there are a number of common exercises that can lead to this pain. Overstraining your muscles is the common reason people have pain in the shins. 

The common causes include:

  • Increasing your training too quickly
  • Insufficient rest periods between training sessions
  • Running on angled or hard surfaces
  • The wrong footwear
  • Overpronation or oversupination of the feet
  • Weakened calf muscles or hamstrings
  • Poor stability in the core
  • Incorrect running technique
  • Flat feet

How to treat shin splints

There are a number of things you can do at home to help treat your shin splint pain. First and foremost, resting your muscles is important. Rest as much as you can and apply an icepack to the painful areas for up to 20 minutes, three to four times a day. 

You can take some over-the-counter anti-inflammatory painkillers to help reduce the pain. Ibuprofen and aspirin are common choices. While you are waiting for your muscles to feel better, try and incorporate some low impact, gentle exercises such as swimming. 

You may also consider the use of muscular stretches, massage and specific exercises from a myotherapist who can guide you in regaining a full range of motion again. Healing and strengthening your scar tissue to help prevent a re-tear in the future.

If your shin splints don’t improve after a few days of rest or the pain is severe, it’s always advisable to seek the advice of a doctor. They can ensure you are not injured or refer you for further investigation if required.

If you’re looking for a myotherapist in the North Balwyn region, Unwind Myotherapy is here to help you. We offer specialised services such as myotherapy, dry needling, cupping, deep tissue massage and remedial massage. Get in touch with us today to discuss your shin splint pain or any other concerns you may have.

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