Are you in search of the best ways to find relief from shin splints?
Shin splints are a common overuse injury that affects millions of professional runners and athletes of all levels. This health condition occurs when our lower leg tendons and muscles get overworked and inflamed.
Common symptoms of shin splints include pain along the inner part of the lower leg and tightness and soreness in your shin muscles. As you can imagine, these symptoms can feel quite debilitating and can even make taking a leisurely jog feel like a struggle.
Thankfully, there are easy and effective solutions to manage muscular shin pain. That's why we've put together this simple guide to help you feel better and get back to doing the regular activities you love.
You'll also find tips on preventing this injury in the future so you can keep your legs feeling strong and healthy.
Healthy Ways to Find Relief From Shin Splints
With a wide variety of treatment options out there, finding relief from shin splints can seem like a daunting task.
To help you get started, here are seven of the best ways to find relief from shin splints:
Give your legs a break
A simple way to find relief from shin splints is by giving your legs a break from pain-inducing activities.
When shin splints occur, it's often because your shin muscles and shin bone are overworked and tired. That's why it's important to take regular breaks from running or other normal activities that could be causing the pain. Taking regular rest days or limiting your exercise intensity can help give your legs a chance to heal.
If you have yet to experience any symptoms, take some time off from running or even low-impact activities that strain your leg muscles. You can take at least one week off and then gradually ease back into activity as your body heals.
Ice your shins
Next on our list of effective ways to find relief from shin splints is icing.
Applying an ice pack or cold compress to your shins can help reduce inflammation and numb the pain.
You can start by wrapping an ice pack or a bag of frozen vegetables in a towel and applying it directly to the area that is hurting for 15-20 minutes at a time. Make sure you don't apply the ice directly to your skin, as this can cause further irritation and muscular shin pain.
Other safe ways to apply ice include using a cold compress or a bag of crushed ice.
These methods can help numb splint pain and reduce inflammation, allowing you to manage your symptoms more easily.
Soak your feet in Epsom salts
Soaking your feet in Epsom salts is another simple treatment for shin splints. The magnesium sulfates found in Epsom salt help reduce inflammation and can soothe splint pain.
To make an Epsom salt bath, fill a tub or bucket with warm water and add 1-2 cups of Epsom salt. Soak your feet in this bath for 10–15 minutes, and repeat this process 3–4 times a week.
If you don’t have access to a tub or bucket, you can also use cold compresses soaked in Epsom salt.
Stretch your calves and feet
Stretching your calves and feet is another great way to find relief from shin splints. Stretching helps reduce muscle tightness and inflammation, which can help you manage your symptoms more easily.
You can start by doing some simple calf stretches throughout the day, such as standing calf raises or wall-based stretches. You should also focus on stretching the muscles in your feet. This includes the muscles of your arch as well as the tendons in the front and back of your foot.
Other stretches you can do to help treat shin splints include toe raises, ankle rotations, plantar fascia stretches, and calf rolls.
Massage your shins
Perhaps one of the most effective cures for shin splints is massage therapy.
Massage helps reduce muscle tightness and inflammation while improving blood flow to the area.
You can start by gently massaging your shin with your thumbs or fingertips in a circular motion for 10–15 minutes at a time. You can also use a foam roller or massage gun to help loosen tight muscles.
One way that stands out with massage is using a leg massager like the FitGun Air C Pro.
It features compressible leg sleeves that wrap around your lower calves and shins to release air in rhythmic waves to connective tissues deep in the muscles. This is especially effective if you find yourself dealing with recurring shin splints.
Wear compression sleeves
If you're looking for some extra support while dealing with shin splints, compression sleeves are a great option.
Compression sleeves help reduce swelling and increase blood flow to the area. This can improve your recovery time and help you manage your symptoms more easily.
You can find compression sleeves in various sizes and styles, so make sure you choose one that fits comfortably. Many come with adjustable straps or snug-fitting fabric to help ensure a proper fit.
Take over-the-counter pain medication
Taking over-the-counter pain relievers is also a safe treatment for shin splints.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, naproxen, and aspirin, can help reduce inflammation and relieve sharp pain where you’re experiencing the most discomfort.
Before taking any medications, it is important to read the labels carefully and follow the instructions for the proper dosage. This way, you can reap the full benefits of the medication without any side effects.
Shin splints can be a painful and difficult condition to manage.
Thankfully, with the treatment strategies outlined above, you can find relief from your symptoms and get back to taking part in the daily activities you love as soon as possible.
Next, we'll take a look at some lifestyle modifications you can make to help prevent the risk of shin splints.
Prevention Strategies for Shin Splints Relief
While many of the strategies listed above can be used to find relief from shin splints, there are certain measures you can take to avoid the condition altogether.
Some ways to prevent shin splints include:
Avoid repetitive activities or motions
A major reason why shin splints occur is because of overuse.
Therefore, it's important to avoid repetitive motions or high-impact activities that could cause strain on your lower legs. Instead, focus on low-impact exercises or activities that don't involve a lot of stress on your shins, such as swimming or bicycling.
What's more, if you are returning to an activity that you haven't done in a while, make sure to start slowly and gradually increase the intensity.
Wear proper sports shoes
Another effective strategy for preventing shin splints is to make sure that you are wearing the right type of footwear.
It’s important to invest in a good pair of supportive shoes that have proper cushioning and arch support. This helps absorb shock as you move, reducing the risk of developing splints.
What's more, wear proper shoes that fit well and are designed for the level of activity you’ll be taking part in. You can also use shoe inserts for extra cushioning and support in your running shoes.
Stay hydrated while running
Staying hydrated while running plays an important role in helping to prevent shin splints.
Dehydration can lead to a decrease in blood circulation, causing muscles and ligaments to become tight and prone to leg injuries. Therefore, it’s essential to make sure that you are drinking enough water before, during, and after a run.
Aim to carry a bottle of water with you on your runs and try to sip on it throughout the course of your physical activity level. You can even add a sports drink with electrolytes to your water bottle to help keep your body fueled and hydrated.
Use proper form when running or performing any exercise program
Another preventive step to take when trying to reduce the risk of shin splints is to make sure that you are using proper running technique or form during leg exercises.
For example, pay attention to your posture while running and focus on keeping your back straight and your chin down. Additionally, practice landing with the balls of your feet instead of your heels. This helps reduce the impact on your shins.
Finally, make sure that you are stretching your legs properly before and after workouts. This helps reduce muscle tension while eliminating risk factors for shin splints.
Maintain a healthy weight
Maintaining a healthy weight is an important way to reduce stress on the shins.
Excess body weight places extra pressure on the bones and muscles of the lower leg, causing shin splints.
It’s important to maintain a balanced diet and make sure that you are eating enough nutritious foods. Common examples of nutritious foods include lean proteins, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats.
Just try to limit your intake of processed foods and sugar so that you can maintain a healthy weight.
Frequently Asked Questions
Still got questions on finding relief from shin splints?
Here are some answers to the most frequently asked questions we get on this topic. Feel free to use these questions and answers as you see fit in your article.
How long does it take to find relief from shin splints?
The amount of time it takes for people with shin splints to find relief varies depending on the severity of their condition and what treatment methods they are using to find relief.
Generally speaking, minor cases of painful shin splints can take anywhere from 2-4 weeks to heal if you are taking the necessary steps to reduce leg pain and inflammation. However, more serious cases of shin splints may take longer and may require physical therapy or other medical treatments.
The duration may also depend on how quickly you can adjust your stretching exercise routine to reduce the impact on your shins.
Worst cases of shin splints can take up to several months to heal and may require surgery.
When should I seek medical help for shin splint relief?
While many of the treatment methods listed in this article can help provide a cure for shin splints, it is important to seek medical help if the pain persists or is getting worse.
If the type of pain does not subside after a few weeks of using these treatments, then you should make an appointment with a physical therapist for a physical exam.
They may recommend additional treatment options such as physical therapy or medication to help reduce pain from shin splints, especially if you have a medical history of this condition.
Is it safe to continue running when finding relief from shin splints?
Picture a red stop light when it comes to running with shin splints.
If you're experiencing mild swelling or minor pain, then it's usually safe to continue running as long as you are taking the necessary measures to reduce severe pain and inflammation.
However, if the type of shin pain is severe or worsening over time, then it is best to take a break from running and focus on finding relief from shin splints through other means such as stretching, icing, and other treatments.
If you are unsure, always err on the side of caution and give your body time to heal before attempting to run again. This will ensure that you have the best chance of finding relief from shin splints and avoiding common injuries.
Now that you have a better understanding of how to find relief from shin splints, it’s time to put these tips into action.
Whether you go for an ice massage, apply heat, use a leg massager, or stretch your leg muscles, the goal is to reduce pain and inflammation.
While any of these nonsurgical treatment options can help provide relief from shin splints, taking the necessary steps to avoid shin splints in the future is key. This includes avoiding repetitive exercise activities such as running, wearing proper athletic shoes with orthotic inserts, staying hydrated, and limiting your intake of processed foods and sugar.
By taking these steps, you can help prevent shin splints from occurring in the first place and continue running without pain. Hope this post was helpful in providing everything you need to know about finding relief from shin splints.
Get in touch with our team of experts if you need any more advice in regard to how our affordable line of massage products can help.