I you are reading this, I suspect that you currently have a shin split/s or you’re maybe trying to avoid getting it. Or you just want to find out to help someone else.
I have written this short article to give you some advice on how to treat shin splints quickly from my own experience. I have had a few..
What is this horrible pain?
So, how do you actually know that you have a shin splint?
To be honest, it is pretty easy to tell as the pain occurs on the inside edge of the shinbone. Unless you don’t know where your shinbone is, it is pretty easy to detect.
> Front of your lower leg is agony when you try to run or even walk? You have a shin splint..
Action. Must. Stop.
So what should you do? What’s the quickest way to get rid of the pain?
I will be honest – it won’t go away in few days or even a week. But it is important that you do the following to shorten the time of shin splint injury and make it go away quickly (as quickly as possible)…
As I mentioned before – I have had few shin splints. The first time I had one, I did all the wrong things…(well, in my defense – I didn’t realise that it was a shin splint I had). I thought that I could still run and just fight through the pain.
Never fight the pain when it comes to injuries, no matter what.
The first thing you MUST do is – STOP RUNNING IMMEDIATELY! If you keep running, it will only get worse and you will end up struggling to even walk for months.
> If there is any swelling in the shin area – ice packs will help. I would keep the ice pack on the shin area for 15-20 min at a time every few hours.
> If the pain is really bad, take some painkillers. But be careful with that! Don’t think that you can go back to running when the painkillers kick in…
> Be careful with a foam roller! It should only be used if the shin splint is muscle related. Most shin splints are bone related and using a foam roller will just make it worse.
Last time (which I hope is the last time ever) I had a shin splint and followed the above steps, I felt a lot better after just over 2 weeks and was able to SLOWLY AND GRADUALLY go back to running.
If the pain does persist and you have followed all the steps to treat it, contact your GP as there might be a more serious issue which needs to be looked at.
Switch to different workouts
It might sound like I am asking a lot by saying you need to stop running. I agree, but it is for your own good.
Switch to different workouts instead – don’t stop exercising completely.
I used to hate doing yoga (still do to a certain extent).. I always felt that it was boring and I was frustrated with myself because I was not flexible at all! Once I committed to it however, it kind of grew on me. Every runner should do yoga. In fact, everyone should do it. It has many benefits! But let’s leave that for another article..
Swimming! That won’t make your shin splints worse! Same goes for training your arms, doing abs workouts.
There is still a lot you can do!
Preventing any future shin splints..
I you have had a shin splint, you will try to do everything to prevent getting another one. Believe me!
> Do some dynamic stretches before running and stretch after the run as well. Seems simple but this helps to strengthen your legs which helps to prevent other injuries as well.
> Don’t increase your mileage too fast – especially after having a shin splint. It is important to let your body get used to the level of exercise.
> Make sure you choose the right running shoes – wrong shoes that don’t support your feet properly might have been the reason for getting the shin splint in the first place. Check out my other article on discussing running shoes for more insight.
> Try to alternate the surface you run on. Road running creates more impact on your legs. Switch to softer surfaces once in a while.
> Check your Calcium levels. If low – try to get more intake by either vitamins or food rich in calcium. I normally drink a glass of milk after my runs. (I know not everyone is a fan so you might choose a different way to boost up your calcium levels).
>Revist your running technique – it might be worth shortening your running stride slightly which will reduce the pressure on your feet and shins.
Last bit of advice…
This might sound patronising, but my main advice to you is – don’t get a shin splint in the first place! Try to do everything to avoid it because it is so painful and inconvenient!
You might have a feeling that this article has been a little agressive.. if so, it is only because I have experienced so much pain because of shin splints and not learnt the first time of what I should and shouldn’t do. This is why I am very passionate about helping you to prevent from going through the same as I have…
Learn from my mistakes and avoid injuries to be able to keep running!