What are Shin Splints?
Shin splints are a common complaint, especially among
runners and other athletes. Characterized by pain in the front or inside area
of the lower leg due to muscle overexertion, the condition usually develops
gradually without a history of trauma, and often begins as a dull ache along
the front or inside of the shin after running or even walking.
Small bumps and tender areas may become evident adjacent to
the shin bone. Pain can become more intense if not addressed, and shin splints
should not be left untreated due to the increased risk of developing stress
The two types of shin splints are:
Shin splints can be caused when the anterior leg muscles are
stressed by running on hard surfaces or extensively on the toes, or by sports
that involve jumping.
Wearing athletic shoes that are worn out or do not have
enough shock absorption can also cause this condition.
Over-pronated flat feet are another factor that can lead to
increased stress on the lower leg muscles during exercise.
People with high-arched feet can also experience shin splint
discomfort due to poor shock absorption by the foot.
Prevention and Treatment
The best way to prevent shin splints is to stretch and
strengthen leg muscles, utilize footwear with proper shock absorption, and
avoid running on hard surfaces or excessive running or jumping on the ball of
the foot. Insoles or orthotics that give arch support for over-pronation are
Treatment includes taking a break from problem-causing
exercise until pain subsides. Icing painful areas immediately after running or
other exercise can also be effective, along with gentle stretching before and
after training. Aspirin or ibuprofen may also help to relieve pain and reduce
It is important to avoid training through the pain of shin splints. Runners should decrease mileage for about a week and avoid hills or hard surfaces. If a muscle imbalance, poor running form or flat feet are causing the problem, a long-term solution might involve a stretching and strengthening program and orthotics that support the foot and correct over-pronation. In more severe cases, ice massage, electro-stimuli, heat treatments and ultra-sound may provide relief.
Call 800.447.0151 or email us to know more about which PAL products are best for shin splints!