What are shin splints and how do you handle them?!

Most of us have felt the pain of shin splints through our fitness journey. Shin splints can occur after any physical activity, typically with running or any vigorous exercise. They are an inflammation of the muscles, tendons, and bone tissue around the Tibia, aka shin bone. When the muscle and bone tissue are overworked, shin splints can develop. 

So what other things can contribute to shin splints? Are you a runner? Do you have flat feet? Abnormally rigid arches? Are you a dancer or military recruit? Do you wear improper or worn out footwear? These are all things that put you at a higher risk of developing shin splints! You are also at a higher risk if you are just starting out with a new fitness program. So, how do you know if the pain you are feeling is actually shin splints? The best way is to of course get checked out by a doctor, shin splints can be treated at home but it never hurts to double check with a doctor! Some symptoms to look out for are pain along the border of the Tibia, there may also be swelling. Sharp or dull throbbing pain, pain during and after working out, and pain to the touch are all signs of shin splints. 

Luckily, shin splints can be treated at home! When shin splints accur, only do low impact workouts (swimming, bike, resistance training, etc), stay away from anything that is going to put more strain on the shin like running, jumping,etc. You can also use ibuprofen when needed, ice, compression, and flexibility exercises.

To prevent shin splints from happening, make sure you wear a good pair of sneakers with good support and cushioning. Strengthen the muscles around your tibia with some calf raises. Here are a few to try… 

Pigeon toe calf raise:

Grab a medicine ball or Dumbbells at your side, turn your feet inward, go up on your tip toes and then back down. Repeat for 30-45 seconds. Rest for 30 seconds and repeat. 

Calf raises:

With feet pointed foreward, hold a ball or dummbells at your side and go up on your tip toes and then back down. Complete for 30-45 seconds, rest for 30 seconds, and then repeat.
Have more questions about shin splints? Contact me and I will be glad to answer and questions I can!


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