Guide to Shin Splints Treatment and Pain Relief

Posted by Orthotics Direct on 2020 Oct 21st

Does exercise trigger pain or ache along your shinbone and throughout your lower leg?

This painful condition is known as shin splints. It’s triggered when the muscles, tissue, and tendons in the lower leg become inflamed. This inflammation is well-known to doctors, who have developed many different methods for alleviating shin splints pain.

Effective treatment for shin splints is critical if you want to get back to your everyday life and resume your love for activities. Today, let’s discuss how to get rid of shin splints and how you can take steps to prevent it from happening in the future.

What are Shin Splints?

Shin splints occur because of ongoing stress on the shinbone and its connective tissue. This stress affects the muscles, tendons, and tissue in the surrounding area, causing it to become inflamed. This stress occurs because of overuse.

Common symptoms include pain, tenderness, and mild swelling in the lower leg, especially in the muscles directly attached to the shinbone’s edge.

What Causes Shin Splints?

While shin splints typically occur because of overuse, it can be difficult for doctors to predict what activities will cause this painful condition to occur. Some activities they’ve pinpointed are those with frequent starts and stops, like dance, basketball, or even some military training exercises.

People who are unused to intense physical activity may quickly develop shin splints if they throw themselves into intense exercise without a proper warm-up or overdo it with a long run or high-impact activity. Certain types of terrain, like uneven ground or hills, can also worsen shin splint pain.

In addition to putting yourself at risk through the activities you do, some people may also find that their physical shape increases their risk for shin splints. People with flat feet or high arches often find that their feet shape puts additional stress on their lower legs, making them more vulnerable to shin splints.

How to Treat Shin Splints

Fortunately, learning how to treat shin splints is easy if you take the time to familiarize yourself with some of these common at-home remedies.

Stretches

Shin splint stretches serve two purposes. When you do these stretches before exercise, you help gently warm up and stretch the leg muscles, so physical activity doesn’t shock and stress these vulnerable areas.

These stretches also help strengthen the muscles, so they’re not as susceptible to injury.

A great stretch is to put your legs in a lunge position, then use your hands to push against the wall. The outstretched leg should get a great stretch through the calf and lower leg. Then, swap your legs to make sure both get equal attention.

Another great lower leg stretch is to find a set of stairs and stand on the lowest step with your heels hanging over the edge. Lower your heels gradually, so your bodyweight stretches out the Achilles tendon and lower leg muscles.

Rest

Resting your legs when you’re feeling pain from shin splints is an integral part of any recovery process. You should rest until your legs feel better, and in the meantime, opt for low-impact physical activities like swimming, using a stationary bike, and lifting weights.

Ice

Using ice packs on your affected legs for 15-20 minutes at a time can help soothe your pain and reduce inflammation. You can do this several times a day, as long as you make sure each session lasts no longer than 20 minutes.

Custom Orthotics

A vital part of any shin splint treatment plan is ensuring this injury doesn’t happen again. If you have flat feet or high arches, a pair of custom orthotics can help correct these postural issues, offering support where you need it most.

The Best Custom Orthotics for Shin Splints

We make the best custom orthotics for shin splints, fitting your feet so that they can correct any posture or gait imbalances. We also make custom orthotics with a precise level of shock absorption, so your feet, ankles, and lower legs aren’t bearing the painful impact of your physical activities.

At Orthotics Direct, all of our orthotics are custom-made to fit your precise measurements. We can also fit orthotics into your favourite pair of running shoes, so they’ll arrive ready to go, and you can get back to your routine.