Shin Splints are one of the most common over use (or under use – more on that later) condition in both athletes, and those trying to become athletes. Yet being one of the most common problems I hear, I never hear of the best way to get rid of shin splints. Probably because people aren’t really educated on what exactly a shin splint is.

What Is A Shin Splint?

Medically speaking, a shin splint is tibial stress syndrome. The tibia is the large bone just in front of your lower leg, more commonly known as the shin bone. Think about tibial stress syndrome for a second. Basically, stress is being put on the tibia, causing the pain. I never will understand how shin splint came about to replace tibial stress syndrome.

So knowing that a shin splint is simply (relatively speaking) stress being put on the shin bone, you can look at what could be the cause of the stress, then learn how to fix that, fixing the shin splints. But before we look at common causes, let’s first look at band-aids.

How To Reduce The Pain Of Shin Splints

Ultimately, we want to find what is causing the stress and fix that. But in the meantime there are a few things you can do in order to reduce the pain of shin splints.

  • Rest. You can’t keep a good athlete down, but rest is one of the best things you can do. Stopping the activity for awhile will reduce the stress put on the area and the body can start healing itself.
  • Ice. Irritation within the body usually means swelling at the area. Icing will actually help reduce the pain. Applying ice packs to the shin for 15-20 min a few times day will bring down the level of irritation.
  • Pain meds. I really had people taking pain medication. People get way to dependent on them. Your body is in pain for a reason. Fix the reason will cure the issue just as much as pain meds will, and you don’t have to worry about side effects! But that is a different topic for a different day. In this case, if you do have pain or swelling and need immediate alleviation from the pain, taking a light dose of an over-the-counter pain reliever could help reduce the pain, swelling and uncomfortableness.

How To Get Rid Of Shin Splints

The best way to get rid of tibial stress syndrome is to know what is the underlying cause is of the stress. But in order to do this, you need to figure out what the underlying cause is. There are quite a few ways that shin splints could occur, so finding the one reason why could be a tough challenge. Have you recently changed your shoes? If so, that could be the issue of your legs trying to adapt. If not, maybe it is time to think about changing your shoes if you had them for awhile? Have you just started out running? Maybe your legs need to adapt to the impact. Veteran runner? Could be overuse. Maybe a pulled muscle caused you to walk abnormally which is causing the pain.

Consider what could be probably causing the issue and fix it. If you attempt to fix the cause and the pain doesn’t go away, fix another aspect. Then another. Then another. Keep adjusting things till you figure out the issue. Complaining and quitting won’t ever cure shin splints, just remember that.

One more thing to keep in mind: If your shin pain gets progressively worse, there is a possibility of a stress fracture. Shins are very susceptible to stress fractures due to impact. If your pain worsens, STOP. Go see a doctor. Most shin splints normally hurt during the same overuse activity, stay at the same pain threshold, then diminish after the activity. If this isn’t occurring, or the pain is isolated to one area or one leg, it may be best to get it checked out.

To Your Health,

~Z

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