What Do Shin Splints Feel Like?
Shin splints are symptoms of throbbing and aching pain in the front of your lower legs (shins).
Also called tibial stress syndrome, this affliction is common to runners and dancers. Shin splints are a symptom of an underlying problem.
They might be caused by:
- Irritated and swollen muscles, often caused by overuse or increased workout intensity.
- Change in surface that the activity is played on (i.e. running from a dirt path to asphalt).
- Stress fractures which are tiny, hairline breaks in the lower leg bones.
- Over-pronation or "flat feet" – when the impact of a step causes the arch of your foot to collapse, stretching the muscles and tendons.
What's the Treatment for Shin Splints?
Regardless of the cause of your shin splints, common treatment principles apply:
- Rest your body so the underlying issue heals. Here are some other things to try:
- Icing the shin to reduce pain and swelling. Do it for 20-30 minutes every three to four hours for two to three days, or until the pain is gone.
- Anti-inflammatory painkillers, taken orally, like ibuprofen will help with pain and swelling. However, these drugs can have side effects, like an increased risk of bleeding and ulcers They should be used only occasionally unless your doctor specifically says otherwise.
- Topical anti-inflammatory creams made with natural ingredients designed specifically for feet and legs (e.g. Zax’s Original Heel Spur Cream) target the affected areas and provides effective and safe relief right to the affected areas.
- Arch supports for your shoes. These orthotics – which can be custom-made or bought off the shelf – may help with flat feet.
- Range of motion exercises, if your doctor recommends them.
- Neoprene sleeve to support and warm the leg.
- Physio therapy to strengthen the muscles in your shins.
When Will My Shin Splints Feel Better?
There's no way to say exactly when your shin splints will go away. It depends on what's causing them.
People also heal at different rates – 3 to 6 months is not uncommon. The key is not to rush back into your sport. If you start exercising before your shin splints have healed, you may hurt yourself permanently.
How Can I Prevent Shin Splints?
To prevent shin splints, you should:
- Always wear shoes with good support and padding.
- Warm up before working out, making sure to stretch the muscles in your legs.
- Stop working out as soon as you feel pain in your shins.
- Don't run or play on hard surfaces like concrete.
- Apply Zax’s Original Heel Spur Cream before and after a work out