Do You Get Shin Splints?

What are shin splints?  

The term “shin splints” describes pain felt along the front of your lower leg, at the shin bone. This pain concentrates in the lower leg between the knee and ankle.

Shin splints are a real pain in the leg. If you engage in strenuous physical activities like running, dancing, or gymnastics, which causes discomfort along the front of your lower legs that arises when you have overworked your leg muscles may seem like an inevitable side effect. But there’s good news.  

Several exercises can help you relieve the pain from shin splints and potentially prevent it in the future, letting you do more of the activities you love.  

According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeon, you can start with essential stretches before you are active go on a long way toward minimizing your likelihood of developing shin splints. And if you do develop this condition, these same exercises, along with rest, can help reduce the discomfort.  

Shin splints can result from:  

  • Flat feet — when the impact of a step makes your foot’s arch collapse  
  • Shoes that do not fit well or provide good support 
  • Working out without warmup or cooldown stretches 
  • Weak ankles, hips, or core muscles 

What Exercises Can Treat Shin Splints?  

Toe Stretches Prevent Tightening: 

Several toe stretches can help relieve the pain of shin splints and, in some cases, prevent them. One is a simple toe curl. Put a towel on the floor in front of you and stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Place one foot on the towel and curl your toes around it to gather the towel up before releasing your toes and returning to the starting position.

Another toe stretch is a simple toe drag. Start in a standing position and place one foot slightly behind you. Position your toes downward so the top of your foot faces the floor, and hold this position for 15 to 30 seconds. Lightly drag your foot forward until your leg aligns with your body.  

Finally, try rising on your tiptoes and holding the position for about 10 seconds before slowly lowering your heels. Start by doing three sets of 10 each of these toe stretches, gradually working up to three sets of 30. If you feel pain when you are doing any of these stretches, stop and move to a different stretch to avoid overworking your already inflamed muscles.  

Calf Stretches Relieve Pain: 

Stretching tight calf muscles does wonders. Start with a simple calf stretch. Stand on a short step and lower the heel of one foot to the floor. Keep the toes of that foot on the edge of the step and the opposite foot on the step. Bend your knees slightly for a deeper stretch. Repeat on the other side.  

If it is easier for you to remain in a seated position, try this stretch. Sit with straight legs in front and loop a jump rope or a towel under one of your feet’ balls. Use it to pull your foot toward you gently, keeping it stretched for 30 seconds before switching to the other side. While you are holding the stretch, your knee should be straightforward ― or as straight as you can keep it ― and your leg still. Try lifting your leg and extending it parallel to the floor while pulling your foot to get a deeper stretch.  

For another upright calf stretch, stand facing the wall with your hands on it.  

Place one foot behind you, keep both feet flat on the floor, and pointed forward.  

Bend your forward leg at the knee while keeping your back leg straight with the heel down. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds before switching legs. Repeat this stretch two to three times.  

Achilles Tendon Stretches Relieve Tension: 

To stretch out the backs of your legs: 

  1. Start with a standing stretch, which you can do on a step or something else that elevates you. 
  2. Have a railing or chair nearby for added support and balance. 
  3. Stretching one leg at a time, move your foot back, keeping the ball of your foot on the step. 
  4. Hang your heel over the edge. 
  5. Let it drop and stretch downward. 
  6. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds before switching sides. 
  7. Repeat the process three times.  

The toe-to-wall stretch is another effective Achilles tendon stretch. Stand in front of a wall with the toes of one foot against it. Lean forward and hold the stretch for 30 seconds while keeping your heels on the floor. If you want a deeper stretch, put your toes higher on the wall—switch feet and repeat.  

Supplement Your Stretches with These Other Helpful Treatments  

If you have tried exercises and are still feeling some discomfort, consider lightly massaging your shins with cold packs or ice for no more than 20 minutes at a time. It can ease soreness and relieve inflammation. It also helps make sure you wear shoes with plenty of arch support while you are active. Insoles can lift your arches and reduce the stress on your shins and lower legs. It can ultimately help prevent shin splints and aid in your recovery.  

Until your shin splints feel better, consider switching to a different exercise that does not aggravate the injury. For example, if you are an avid runner, consider biking or swimming for a week or two.   

Keep following the recovery articles to continue your fitness journey without any obstacles- https://fns360.com/category/movement-and-recovery/.

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