Shin splints are a common problem for runners who ramp up their mileage too quickly. Also known as medial tibial stress syndrome, muscle and bone stress on the inner side of the shins causes irritation. Anyone who’s had them knows they can be very painful!
People who run and jump are most at risk for developing shin splints. This includes distance and track runners, military personnel, gymnasts, and anyone who isn’t used to running, Pain is usually felt along the inner shin of both legs, getting worse with running but easing or disappearing with walking.
Shin splints usually heal with rest. Unfortunately, this can mean taking a few weeks off from the specific activity that’s causing pain, followed by a slow(er) increase in activity the next time. And we know that being told to rest is one of the most frustrating things about this injury!
No time to rest?
Here’s a quick self treatment plan that can help relieve the pain and irritation caused by shin splints:
- Ice and stretch the shin muscles
- Wear compression socks or sleeves
- Increase your step rate during runs
See the videos and articles below for details about each step in the plan:
When you should get help:
A less common type of shin splints affects the muscles on the front of the shin bone. However, pain here can easily be confused for something else. Pain in the shin can also be caused by a stress fracture in the bone (tibia), or a swelling problem called exertional compartment syndrome. Stress fractures and compartment syndrome are bad news! So if things aren’t getting better, make sure you get checked out by a healthcare provider who works with runners.
Do you having shin splints that keep coming back? Muscle imbalances, stuck joints, or improper running technique could be causing the problem. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.