Shin Splints

Shin Splints

What are shin splints?

The term “shin splints” can refer to a number of ailments that involve pain in the shin area. Shin splints (or medial tibial stress syndrome) is one of the more common beginner running injuries. At their worst, shin splints can turn into a stress fracture along the tibia, and searing pain will be felt with every stride; in less severe cases, the muscles in the shin area may be tender and inflamed, and pain lessens a few miles into the run.

Symptoms:

  • A dull ache at the front of the leg
  • Pain on either side of the shin bone
  • Pain in the inner side of the lower leg
  • Tenderness/soreness on the lower leg
  • Numbness/weakness in the foot

Cause:

Shin pain can most often be traced back to a sudden spike in training volume and intensity. This is why, for example, it is a common complaint among brand-new runners beginning a training program. When you run, your lower legs take all of the initial impact forces, which then run through the rest of your body. Newer runners’ lower legs aren’t yet strong enough to handle this stress, which is why it’s important to develop a solid base before increasing mileage or introducing speed work. Combine that inexperience with regular running on hard surfaces and worn-out or improper footwear and you have a recipe for disaster. And as with many of the aforementioned injuries, tight muscles don’t help matters either. The less mobile the muscles surrounding your shin are, the more stress there is on the entire area.

Solution:

Cooling therapy will help reduce the tenderness and inflammation but rest in needed to fully solve the problem, and Physicool is your best option for this. From just 30 minutes of use, you will find that the inflammation is reduced and the pain is soothed. These can be reapplied as needed between 2 and 4 times a day. It is best to use the bandages in the evening when you can take the pressure off the injury, but a lunchtime treatment can also be used. The cooling benefit of the bandage reduces the pain and swelling, whilst the compression limits inflammation. Physicool will help speed up healing and get you back to what you love doing faster.

Running and training puts stress on the shin bone, slightly bending the tibia through impact. So be sure to rest between runs will enable the bone to rebuild and get stronger. When new runners go out and run too much too quickly—without giving their bones (and muscles) time to recover—the shins become over-stressed. Experienced runners are less likely to have this problem, because they’ve slowly built their system up to handle the stress of running.

As you ease back into running, pay attention to your training, as well as to your equipment and environment. Increasing volume and intensity too quickly will almost always lead to trouble. Running on soft surfaces such as trails or grass will help reduce the impact on your lower legs and prevent a repeat injury.


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