How to Treat Shin Splints
Shin splints are a painful throbbing around the shin area that typically shows up in runners. In extremely rare cases, surgery is needed to repair shin splints if they were caused by a stress fracture. Shin splints can be a result of sensitive or swollen muscles due to overuse, flat feet, insufficient core and hip stabilizing muscles, or unsatisfactory lumbar spine function. Here’s what you can do to treat shin splints:
1. Physical therapy: A physical therapist is trained to catch muscles inadequacies or imbalances and will be able to identify why your running form is causing shin splints. They can also recommend a range of motion exercises or help you develop a treatment plan to relieve pain.
2. Ice: Icing will alleviate swelling and throbbing. If you suspect you have shin splints, the first step would be to ice your shins 20-30 minutes per day every three hours for a few days.
3. Rest: If you have shin splints, stop doing the thing that is causing the pain. Take a break from your daily jogs or training to give your shins relief.
4. Neoprene sleeve: A neoprene sleeve is specifically developed and fitted to provide warmth and support to the leg.
5. Orthotics: If you are dealing with flat feet or a collapsed arch, orthotics for your shoes are the obvious solution. Be sure to invest in inserts that are comfortable and high quality, so they provide and maintain the best support for your feet.
6. Medication: Anti-inflammatory medications can be very helpful in reducing swelling and pain. Medications like aspirin, ibuprofen, aspirin, and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are effective.
If your shin splints have finally healed, you will notice that your injured leg is just as flexible and strong as your other leg. Also, you will be able to press your shin and not feel pain or throbbing. The most obvious indication that your shin splints have healed is if you can run, sprint, and jog without pain. Be mindful to not jump right back into your normal workout regimen, so you don’t reinjure your shins, or cause permanent damage. To schedule a consultation to discuss what is causing you shin splints, call Sports Medicine of Napa Valley at 707-258-2547.