The term “shin splints” refers to medial tibial stress syndrome, a painful condition caused by tiny rips in the muscles around your tibia (shin bone). This accounts for roughly 15% of all running injuries; 10% of runnersworld.com respondents said they suffered shin splints in the previous year.
WHO’S AT RISK?
Shin splints are prevalent among beginning runners and those resuming to running after a long break. They’re an indication that you’ve done too much, too fast, according to Dr. Price. Shin splints affect runners who are wearing the improper shoe or a pair that has accumulated too many kilometers, as well as those who have high arches or flat feet.
CAN YOU RUN THROUGH IT?
When you feel the first twinges of pain, reduce your running to a safe level for a few days to a week, then gradually raise your distance utilizing the 10% guideline (no more than 10 percent increase per week). Bike, run in the pool and swim as an alternative exercise.
Pain can be relieved with rest, ice, and ibuprofen. Though calf stretching has long been recommended as a means to treat shin splints, there is little proof that it works, according to Price. Kinesio Tex tape on the shin can help alleviate discomfort and speed up the healing process. Wearing an air cast ankle brace all day, even while running, can help you heal faster. According to Saxena, these braces stabilize the ankle so that the shin muscles don’t have to work as hard for leg support.
PREVENT A RELAPSE
The most straightforward and most effective technique to avoid shin splints is to increase mileage gradually. Also, make sure you’re wearing the right shoes, according to Saxena. Beginners, in particular, might benefit from the guidance of a professional at a dedicated running store. A cushioned shoe may be required if you have high arches. He also suggests that if you have flat feet, a stiff shoe may be the best option.
Miler David Torrence participates in a casual basketball or soccer game once or twice a month.
He explains that “lateral movement works your muscles differently than sprinting in one direction.” “It’s made it easier for me to deal with my shin splints.”
Shin Signs: How to Proceed
- Stop: Tenderness down the leg, particularly if you bounce on it. It might be a fracture if even walking (not just running) aches.
- Caution: When you run, you feel a tight, painful sensation that goes away when you stop. Hoping isn’t an option in this situation.
- Run: When you’re fully pain-free when running, even after you’ve stopped icing and taping your shins after each run.
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