Shin Splints Treatment Usually Involves Rest

November 12, 2012

Shin Splints Treatment Usually Involves Rest

Shin splints is a term which is often used when describing pain in the lower leg but this term relates to the condition Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome. Reasons which contribute to lower leg pain are stress fractures, soreness of the shin and shin splints. It is essential to understand the function of the bones, muscles and tendons.

Shin splints treatment involves knowing exactly what the cause is, e.g. flat feet or exercising incorrectly and aiming to sort it. Treatment of shin splints is the same as would be given to someone who has suffered a soft tissue injury. As soon as the injury occurs apply R.I.C.E.R. (rest, ice, compression, elevation, referral). Contact a suitable specialist for the exact diagnosis. It is crucial to implement the R.I.C.E.R. regime for up to 72 hours as this will improve the chances of a full recovery.

Part of the shin splints treatment requires physiotherapy to be carried out after 48 to 72 hours. Treat the affected area with heat and deep tissue massage as these are very effective in treatment of tendons and muscles.

As the pain is decreasing the next step is rehabilitation. The aim of this phase in shin splints treatment is to improve and regain the power, strength, flexibility and endurance of the tendons and muscles which have been affected.

Soreness of the shin develops mainly by overuse of the muscles therefore rest is very important to your training regime. When pain does develop apply R.I.C.E.R. and 95% of the shin soreness will be reduced over a 72 hour period.

There are two bones in the area of the lower leg. The tibia is located on the medial or inside of the lower leg, and the fibula is situated on the lateral or outside of the lower leg and there are lots of muscles attached to these bones. When the muscles become overworked they pull on the tibia and fibula which results in pain connected to shin splints. The muscles put great strain on the tibia as they try to ensure the stability of the foot, ankle and lower leg and too much force may cause parts of the tendons to be ripped from the bone.

Most of the causes connected to shin splints are taking parts in sports which involve a lot of weight bearing or running activity, but this is not necessarily caused by the weight or force applied. It is the force of impact connected to weight bearing and running. Tendons and muscles become tired and overworked and when this happens, the ability to absorb the shock force is lost. Avoid exercising on concrete and uneven ground and ensure the shoes fit correctly. To avoid the need for shin splints treatment start with a gentle program of exercising if you have been away from training for a long period of time. Do not do too much up and down hill running.

Flat feet contributes to shin splints as the feet flatten and carries on rolling inward which causes twisting of the tibia which results in the lower leg muscles being over stretched. Leaning forward or backward when you run along with muscle stiffness and tightness in the lower leg are contributory factors to shin splints. Avoid running with toes pointed outwards and also try to not land on the balls of the feet and your chances of requiring shin splints treatment decreases.

To prevent shin splints it is essential to get the correct advice on what type of footwear is best for you. Make an appointment with a podiatrist to check gait analysis and the foot strike function and seek advice from them on the footwear which is suitable for you.

Always warm up prior to any exercise as this prepares tendons and muscles. If you fail to warm up correctly the tendons and muscles will be stiff and tight which could reduce the flow of blood to the lower leg. As a result of this there could be reduced oxygen and nutrients being delivered to the muscles and this increases the chances of needing shin splints treatment, and massaging the area affected before and after exercising helps to keep you injury free.

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