Shin splints are very common in runners. It is irritated and swollen muscles, often from overuse. These are the muscles and fascia in the front of the leg below the knee. The result is the shins throb and ache after or during the run. They can results from many factors including poor running form, worn out running shoes, overuse, over pronation, flat feet or high arches. Additionally, a sudden increase in weekly run mileage or an increase in intensity can be a factor.
What is the treatment for shin splints?
Runners have two options: total rest or “run through it.” Total rest is often an unacceptable option to an athlete. The run through it approach often leads to worsening of the injury. Another method of relative rest with noninvasive treatements such as ART and Graston can be successful in getting an athlete back doing what they love to do.
- Ice, elevation and anti-inflammatories to reduce inflammation. Ace bandage around the lower leg helps reduce discomfort.
- Stationary bicycling or pool running will maintain cardiovascular fitness.
- Replace worn out running shoes with the correct shoe based upon your foot type (pronator vs. supinator).
- Cut back on intensity and distance. Run on level and soft terrain.
- ART (Active Release Technique), Graston Technique or Cold Laser can restore optimal texture, motion, and function of the soft tissue and release any entrapped nerves or blood vessels. ART is a soft tissue system/movement based massage technique that successfully treats problems with muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia and nerves.
- warm up before exercising
- wear shoes that fit well and offer support for your specific gait and running style
- stretching and strength training, specifically exercises that build calf muscles
- barefoot running