If you feel pain in your lower leg which is localized below your knee on the foreside or inside the leg in the bone, it is highly possible that you suffer from shin splints. The doctors refer this condition to medial tibial stress syndrome (MTSS). Today we will describe how to prevent shin splints, who is at risk group, what are the causes and best ways to treat this condition.
Who is the most prone to shin splints?
Actually, this disorder can happen to everyone who practice excessive physical exercises, especially, when you start to train too much without gradual preparation, when tendons and muscles of legs are getting tired fast and do not receive sufficient relax.
Though, there are certain groups of people who are at higher risk of shin splints:
- people with rigid arches;
- tennis players;
- people with flat feet;
- racquetball players;
- soccer players;
- fitness amateurs;
- basketball players;
- military recruits.
If you are only starting practicing any kind of sports, begin from light workouts and adjust your training according to your current state gradually. Do not add a lot of mileage or prolong your workout twice longer even if you feel that you have much energy for this step. It is a direct way to shin splints.
What Are the Seeds of Shin Splints?
When the shin bone is exposed to strenuous physical activity together with the attaching tissues, ship splints occur. Because of intensive load, the muscles swell while the pressure towards the bone increases. As a result, there is an inflammation process starting in the bone and you feel distinct pain there.
If bone fractures constantly react to excessive pounding, tiny cracks appear in the bone. In case your body receives enough rest, it can repair them itself. Otherwise, if you overload it, those cracks develop in a stress fracture.
In addition, there are several conditions that aggravate the risk of suffering from shin splints:
- if your leg is anatomically abnormal (flat foot, for instance);
- if your muscles in the buttocks or thighs are too weak;
- if your legs are not flexible enough;
- if your workout techniques are wrong;
- if you have spine disorders.
As for the runners who are interested how to prevent shin splints, we provide extra recommendations.
- Do not run downhill much;
- Avoid slanted or uneven paths;
- Your training shoes must perfectly suit your feet and the goals of the practice;
- Avoid taking part in fast-stop sports.
Signs of Shin Splints
You can discover shin splints yourself in case you feel a dull pain localized on the foreside of your lower legs, right in the bone, in the muscle surrounding it. Other symptoms are soreness or high sensitivity of the inner parts of legs below the knees and swelling. In case feet are numb and weak, it also indicates shin splints.
Obviously, any discomfort is a reason to ask your doctor for the help, but there are certain conditions that require an urgent visit at the nearest hospital. They include a severe ache after an accident, heat in a shin, visible inflammation or swelling.
How to Prevent Shin Splints
If your shin splint is not neglected, it can often heal on its own. Moreover, there are efficient treatment methods to ease this condition. The first thing is to give your body enough time to relax. Apply ice to the leg for 30 minutes 3 times a day for 3 days (it decreases swelling and pain). Put orthotics into the shoes which support the arches and put a neoprene sleeve on your leg.
As for the preventive routine, it is recommended to perform the following easy exercise that will stretch and strengthen your shins and prepare it for the physical activity.