As the name suggests shin splints is concerned with pain in the shinbone, a large bone in front of the lower leg. It can be a result of rigorous training session, lack of warm-up, running on hard surface or even improper stretching. Here are few tips to help you deal with shin splints and ease the pain.
Take proper rest
Taking active rest is the effective method for shin splints but taking rest doesn’t mean that you leave exercising for days and then start rigorous sessions all of a sudden. Rest should be active in order to relieve stress from areas that are causing pain. Stopping exercise all of a sudden and completely may give temporary relief, but it is highly likely that the problem resurfaces once the activity is resumed. Active rest implies low-impact exercises like cycling or swimming. It is advisable to go for those activities that doesn’t involve the same muscles as running.
Apply ice in early stages
Ice can prove to be very helpful at the time of acute pain in the shinbone and can be really relieving if the shin splint is characterized by redness and swelling. Ice cubes wrapped in washcloth when rubbed on the swollen portion for around 15 to 20 minutes, provides immense relief. You are advised to repeat this process several times within hours in a day to get permanent relief from severe pain. This process known as ‘cold therapy’ is a proven and tested method to reduce pain and inflammation.
Stretching and strengthening calf muscle
Stretches like calf stretch and hamstring stretch can help you recover fast. For calf stretch, you need to step forward with a sudden thrust. Keeping back leg straight you should then bend forward. Your forward leg should be in a bent position and the calf of back leg should be stretched by pressing heel towards the floor. For hamstring stretch, stand upright with feet under hips and toes pointed forward. You need to bend your back leg and keep abs tight to maintain balance. Your front thigh should be used to place hands. Bend over from the waist, lowering upper body towards your extended leg till you feel a stretch in the hamstring of your front leg.
Wear shock absorbing shoes
It may sound simple but getting the right shoe for you can be as difficult as finding a perfect life partner for yourself. Depending on a person’s feet and gait, various shoe categories exist. If you are running around 30 miles a week, the shoes will mostly last for about two months. You are advised to wear good quality, running shoes with shock absorbing insoles which help in reducing shock on the lower leg.
Take proper care of diet
Take proper care of your diet when you are suffering from shin splints. You should consume diet that are rich in vitamins and minerals and make an effort to take in calcium rich food such as dairy products. Calcium rich food especially helps in reducing pain in bone. If you are not feeling relieved by these home treatments and the pain has started taking a toll on you, visit the doctor and take instructions.