Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome, the medical term used for shin splints, is determined as pain in the shin area, which is located in the front of your lower leg. You will generally notice it when you begin a physical activity that requires running, jumping, or other stressful activity on your legs.

People also notice it after they have finished exercising and the muscles have cooled down. In extreme cases of shin splints, you will need to stop all exercises, and not place weight on your injured shin.

Shin splints, can be caused by swelling in the muscles of the leg, or possibly a stress fracture in the leg bones. Occasionally you may experience numbness in the legs as well.

Shin splints are usually caused by running or working out on hard surfaces for long periods of time. Basketball players frequently get shin splints from running and jumping on a hardwood court, or on cement surfaces when they are playing on outdoor courts.

How to Prevent Shin Splints

  • Change Surfaces – If you are running for endurance, try running on grass, dirt trails, or on the beach. These soft surfaces are much easier on your shins. If you are playing a sport that requires that you use a hard surface, you will probably need to cut back on your workouts, or give your shins more rest until the condition heals.
  • Gradually Build Your Routine – Don’t start off your routine too quickly. If you are just getting into shape, you need to do easier workouts until your body can adjust.
  • Proper Stretching – Do a really light jog for ten minutes or so, and then stretch your muscles extensively. A light jog helps to warm your muscles up and prevents injuries that might occur when stretching cold muscles.

Shin Splints Home Treatment

  • Ice – Ice always helps to reduce swelling and relieve pain. Try icing your shins for about 20 minutes a few times a day for the best results.
  • Back off on Training – If you are in a competitive sport, you don’t want to completely stop training if necessary, but you could do some cross training, and workout other areas of your body while your shin is recuperating. Swimming is a great workout, but it is easy on your joints and shins. It strengthens the arms and legs, and can give you a good workout without added stress to your shins.

Stretch your Calf Muscle, do a traditional runners stretch focusing on stretching out your calf muscles, several times each day. Make sure your athletic shoes are not worn out.

Once the pain subsides, and you no longer feel pain when working out or during rest, it’s time you can slowly get back into your regular training.

Just by using some common sense, you can probably prevent most shin splints, and save a trip to your podiatrist. Don’t over-workout your legs on hard surfaces and gradually build up your training and activities to help keep your shins in good shape.

If you notice shin splint pain is not subsiding, you should get it checked by the physicians at InMotion Foot and Ankle.