April 4th | by Katie S. | Wellness

Finding Relief From Shin Splints

Shin splints create pain around the shin bone because of muscles that are inflamed or pulled, usually due to over-exercising.
Shin splints can happen to anyone; keep reading to learn what you need to know about the symptoms and treatment options for this condition.
Relief From Shin Splints Relief From Shin Splints

Power through it, you say to yourself as you try not to limp off the field, to your car, or through your front door. If other people can power through it, so can you; afterall, it’s just shin splints - even kids get those all the time... Well, yes and no. Yes, all people can get shin splints, including those of different ages, activity levels, and genders. But no, you don’t just have to pretend you are not in pain, and really you probably shouldn’t!

Shin Splints Shin Splints
Shin splints, aka medial tibial stress syndrome (try working that into your next dinner party convo), is caused when the muscles around your tibia (shin bone) are pulled or inflamed. This inflammation or pulling of the muscles creates the pain known as shin splints.
Shin Splint Causes
Shin splints are usually spurred on by an increase in exercise or the type of exercise you have started. They can happen to anyone, but shin splints are most commonly found in:

  • Runners and dancers
  • Athletes who play sports with high impact on their legs
  • Those with flat feet, high-arched feet or rigid arched feet
  • Military recruits
  • People with osteoporosis (weaker bones)
  • Anyone who has recently increased or changed their exercise routine
  • People who walk or exercise a lot
  • Someone a vitamin D deficiency
Shin Splints Symptoms

The most common symptoms of shin splints are:

  • Pain felt around the shin bone, especially when placing pressure on the feet (walking, running, jumping, ect.)
  • Painful to touch around the shin bone
  • Swelling in your lower legs
  • Dull ache or sharp pain around the shin
  • Increased pain levels after exercise

If you have shin splints, you may also feel increased pain when you stand on your toes or roll your ankle inward. If you think you may have shin splints, make sure to talk with your doctor and here is why….

Shin Split Symptoms Shin Split Symptoms
Why Ignoring Shin Splints is a No-Go

Even though shin splints may be common, they are not something to ignore. Shin splints have the potential to lead to stress fractures - tiny breaks in your bone. Although shin splints are usually relatively easy to treat, stress fractures require more medical attention and may even lead to being on crutches or in a wheelchair to avoid unneeded pressure on the bone (scary, we know).
For the optimists out there, there is a silver lining! If you have shin splints, there are many at-home ways you can treat them!

Shin Splints Treatment

Here is how you can treat your shin splints:

  1. Don’t Over-Do It!
    Sadly, you may need to take a temporary break from sports or exercise to allow your shin to heal. Doctors may recommend resting for a few weeks or maybe longer.

  2. Ice-Ice Baby!
    Reduce the swelling in your legs by compressing ice to your shins for 10-20 minutes at a time, three to four times per day. The Cleveland Clinic recommends continuing this for a few days.

  3. Over-the-Counter Pain Relievers!
    Over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can reduce swelling and help ease pain. Never start a new medication without first consulting your doctor.

  4. Put an Arch in Your Step!
    People with flat feet are at a greater risk for shin splints. If this is you, consider looking for shoe inserts that help support your arch. This will reduce the amount of pressure that your body needs to absorb.

  5. Don’t give it 100%!
    When you begin to reintroduce activity, make sure to take it slow and listen to your body. Slowly work up to higher intensity workouts rather than jumping to 100%.

  6. Styling and Profiling with PR SOLES® Recovery Shoes!
    PR SOLES® recovery shoes are made with ACUPOINT® technology that reduces the amount of pressure placed on your feet. They help absorb the pressure during each step and help you walk off your pain in a meaningful way. (We know, another pair of shoes you say, twist my arm.)