Shin Splints

Hey everybody

Have been getting a few people at Succeed Boot Camp Canberra complain about shin soreness (shin splints), so I thought it easier to just post it up for you. Got my Business Partner Shaun to write one up for you:

What Are Shin Splints?

Shin splints is the general name given to pain at the front of the lower leg. Shin splints is not a diagnosis in itself but a description of symptoms of which there could be a number of causes. The most common cause is inflammation of the periostium of the tibia (sheath surrounding the bone). Traction forces occur from the muscles of the lower leg causing shin pain and inflammation. 

What are the main symptoms of Shin Splints? How do I know if I have them?

  • Tenderness over the inside of the shin.
  • Lower leg pain which goes after a period of rest but comes back when running starts again.
  • Sometimes some swelling.
  • Lumps and bumps may be felt when feeling the inside of the shin bone.
  • Pain when the toes or foot are bent downwards.
  • Redness over the inside of the shin.
  • Aching of the the inside of the lower leg.

If I Have Shin Splints, how do I get rid of it?

Unfortunately for Boot Campers and workout junkies, the best treatment for Shin Splints is plenty of rest and staying off your feet. Treatment for shin splints usually is as simple as reducing pain and inflammation. Then identifying training and biomechanical problems which may have helped cause the injury initially, restoring muscles to their original condition and gradually returning to training.

Some tips to get rid of Shin Splints………….

  • Rest to allow the injury to heal. 
  • Apply ice in the early stages (20 – 30 min on, 10 off), particularly when it is very painful. Ice reduces pain and inflammation. 
  • Stretch the muscles of the lower leg. In particular the tibialis posterior is associated with shin splints. 
  • Wear shock absorbing insoles in shoes. This helps reduce the shock on the lower leg. 
  • Maintain fitness with other non weight bearing exercises such as swimming, cycling or running in water. 
  • Apply heat and use a heat retainer or shin and calf support after the initial acute stage and particularly before training. This can provide support and compression to the lower leg helping to reduce the strain on the muscles. It will also retain the natural heat which causes blood vessels to dilate and increases the flow of blood to the tissues. 
  • Visit a physio/sports injury clinic for treatment and rehabilitation.

What can a sports injury clinic or physio do that you cannot do by yourself or with Succeed?

  • Prescribe anti-inflammatory medication. (Always consult a doctor before taking medication).
  • Tape the ankle for support. – They can show you correct taping techniques. Taping worn all day will allow the shin to rest properly by taking the pressure off the muscle attachments.
  • Perform an analysis to determine if you overpronate or oversupinate
  • Use sports massage techniques on the posterior deep muscle compartment but help avoid inflammation

IMPORTANT NOTE!!!!

Anti inflammatory drugs along with rest and ice can help reduce inflammation, particularly in the early stages. However if the underlying causes such as tight muscles are not treated through stretching and sports massage techniques then the likelihood of the injury returning is higher. 

STRETCHES TO PREVENT/REHAB SHIN SPLINTS 

Kneeling ankle stretch

kneeling-shin-stretch

  • Kneel on both knees with your bum over both heels and feet extended back.
  • Slowly sit down on heels – or as far as you can go toward them, it shouldn’t hurt. Try not to sit between ankles.
  • Hold the position for 20-30 seconds and repeat as needed.

Tip: If you suffer from knee problems this may not be a good stretch for you. 

Soleus Stretch

soleus-stretch

  • Put your foot up against a wall
  • Push your knee is towards the wall
  • Should feel a stretch up your Achilles and in your soleus muscle
  • Hold for 30sec – 1min 

Tip: Ankle Flexibility will determine the extent of the stretch

General Calve Stretch 

calf-stretch

  • Place Both Hands up against a solid wall
  • Place one foot forward underneath your arms with foot flat on the ground
  • Place one foot back, flat on the ground.
  • Transfer all your bodyweight toward your hands
  • Keeping your back heel on the ground, by leaning forward you should feel a stretch in your calf/ gastrocnemius muscle
  • Hold for 30 seconds to 1 min

Scott Williams

CEO Succeed Personal Development 

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