Shin Splints Prevention Tips

Shin Splints Prevention Tips

8th Jun 2022

Shin splints, also called medial tibial stress syndrome, cause inflammation to develop in the connective tissue that attaches the muscle to the tibia bone. The tibia is the larger of the two bones in the lower leg. The front part of this bone is referred to as the shinbone. In comparison to all of the other muscles in your leg, the lower leg muscles are much smaller, which means that they can be overworked very easily.

Symptoms

Symptoms of shin splints include:

  • Tenderness and soreness along the inner part of the shinbone
  • Mild swelling in the lower leg
  • Pain along the inner border of the tibia, where the muscle attaches to the bone
  • At first, the pain from shin splints may only occur when you are physically active, but with time the pain can become continuous.

In advanced cases, the pain of shin splints not only occurs because of inflammation but also because the muscle becomes rigid and tight and begins to be pulled away from the bone. If it is not addressed, this pulling may cause the bone to bow, creating more intense pain and it can also cause microscopic tears to occur in the muscle, eventually leading to damage.

It is important to take proper measures to rehabilitate shin splints because they have the potential to cause a stress fracture in the lower leg.

What Causes Shin Splints?

Experts agree that the two main factors that lead to shin splints are excessive impact to the lower legs and overworked legs. Facets of these two issues can stem from numerous possibilities such as improper running form, inadequate foot support, heel striking (or over-striding), high arches, flat feet, imbalanced muscle strength in the primary and secondary muscles in the lower leg, and/or sudden changes in frequency, duration, or intensity of physical activity. Other factors include running on terrain that is hard, uneven, unstable, downhill, or uphill.

Beginner athletes are highly likely to suffer from shin splints because of the sudden increase in activity. If muscles are not properly strengthened, training for longer distances and increasing speed can stress the lower leg muscles. It is important to begin a strengthening and conditioning regimen prior to changing your regular exercise routine in order to prepare your muscles for the new activity. If your legs become tired or weak at any point, make sure to stop and rest.

How to Prevent Shin Splints

Even though this is a very common sports injury, it is a condition that can be cured and prevented. Here are some helpful tips to prevent shin splints from causing you pain.

1) Rest

Since the primary cause of shin splints is overuse and unnecessary stress of the tibial bones and surrounding area, giving your legs a week off can do wonders to help the area heal faster and return to normal.

2) Build Bone Density

Research has revealed that low bone density can be a factor in shin splints because impact can cause a slight bend to occur to the tibia bone. Many experts recommend taking the recommended daily value of calcium and vitamin D. A study found that this reduced the risk of developing tibial stress fractures from shin splints by 25%.

3) Wear Proper, Supportive Footwear

Make sure that your shoes are supportive and fit properly. They need to support the heel and the ball of your foot well. If you have flat feet or high arches, you may need special inserts to help with this issue.

4) Prevention Exercise Routine

Practicing a routine exercise that strenghtens specific muscles can help to prevent other issues occurring.

5) Slowly Increase Any Factors of Your Routine

It is vital to gradually build up your body’s ability to handle an increase in distance and speed.

Shin splints, also called medial tibial stress syndrome, cause inflammation to develop in the connective tissue that attaches the muscle to the tibia bone. The tibia is the larger of the two bones in the lower leg. The front part of this bone is referred to as the shinbone. In comparison to all of the other muscles in your leg, the lower leg muscles are much smaller, which means that they can be overworked very easily.

Symptoms

Symptoms of shin splints include:

  • Tenderness and soreness along the inner part of the shinbone
  • Mild swelling in the lower leg
  • Pain along the inner border of the tibia, where the muscle attaches to the bone
  • At first, the pain from shin splints may only occur when you are physically active, but with time the pain can become continuous.

In advanced cases, the pain of shin splints not only occurs because of inflammation but also because the muscle becomes rigid and tight and begins to be pulled away from the bone. If it is not addressed, this pulling may cause the bone to bow, creating more intense pain and it can also cause microscopic tears to occur in the muscle, eventually leading to damage.

It is important to take proper measures to rehabilitate shin splints because they have the potential to cause a stress fracture in the lower leg.

What Causes Shin Splints?

Experts agree that the two main factors that lead to shin splints are excessive impact to the lower legs and overworked legs. Facets of these two issues can stem from numerous possibilities such as improper running form, inadequate foot support, heel striking (or over-striding), high arches, flat feet, imbalanced muscle strength in the primary and secondary muscles in the lower leg, and/or sudden changes in frequency, duration, or intensity of physical activity. Other factors include running on terrain that is hard, uneven, unstable, downhill, or uphill.

Beginner athletes are highly likely to suffer from shin splints because of the sudden increase in activity. If muscles are not properly strengthened, training for longer distances and increasing speed can stress the lower leg muscles. It is important to begin a strengthening and conditioning regimen prior to changing your regular exercise routine in order to prepare your muscles for the new activity. If your legs become tired or weak at any point, make sure to stop and rest.

How to Prevent Shin Splints

Even though this is a very common sports injury, it is a condition that can be cured and prevented. Here are some helpful tips to prevent shin splints from causing you pain.

1) Rest

Since the primary cause of shin splints is overuse and unnecessary stress of the tibial bones and surrounding area, giving your legs a week off can do wonders to help the area heal faster and return to normal.

2) Build Bone Density

Research has revealed that low bone density can be a factor in shin splints because impact can cause a slight bend to occur to the tibia bone. Many experts recommend taking the recommended daily value of calcium and vitamin D. A study found that this reduced the risk of developing tibial stress fractures from shin splints by 25%.

3) Wear Proper, Supportive Footwear

Make sure that your shoes are supportive and fit properly. They need to support the heel and the ball of your foot well. If you have flat feet or high arches, you may need special inserts to help with this issue.

4) Prevention Exercise Routine

Practicing a routine exercise that strenghtens specific muscles can help to prevent other issues occurring.

5) Slowly Increase Any Factors of Your Routine

It is vital to gradually build up your body’s ability to handle an increase in distance and speed.

For over 20 years, families across the U.S. have turned to Real Time’s lotions and creams for PAIN RELIEF YOU CAN TRUST®. From Lifestyle Essentials, through our Nujuvena line, to Pain Relief Formulas, Real Time has you covered.
LEARN MORE

Search for Blogs
Recent Blogs
Navigating the Hazards of Screen Time: A Modern Dilemma
Navigating the Hazards of Screen Time: A Modern Dilemma

In an era dominated by digital devices, our screen time has skyrocketed, leading to a myriad of health concerns. In this article, we'll unravel the impact of excessive screen time and the overuse of m

Read more
Sleeping Position: The Silent Architect of Aches and Pains
Sleeping Position: The Silent Architect of Aches and Pains

A good night's sleep is a cornerstone of well-being, influencing everything from cognitive function to emotional resilience. However, the quality of our sleep is intricately tied to our sleeping habit

Read more
The Ergonomic Challenge: A Blueprint for a Healthier Work Lifestyle
The Ergonomic Challenge: A Blueprint for a Healthier Work Lifestyle

In the digital age, where a significant portion of our lives is spent working at desks or in front of computers, ergonomic issues have emerged as silent culprits contributing to discomfort and pain. T

Read more
The Impact of Sedentary Behavior on Physical Well-being
The Impact of Sedentary Behavior on Physical Well-being

In our modern, technology-driven world, it's too easy to find ourselves ensnared in sedentary habits that can take a toll on our physical health. Sedentary behavior, characterized by extended periods

Read more