How to Fix Shin Splints for Running

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Shin splint is a common injury among runners. Shin splints or medial tibial stress syndrome refers to the pain along the large bone in front of your lower leg (shinbone or tibia.) Stress and impact are also inflicted on the connective tissues that attach your muscles to your bone. Causes include injury and overstress on the area usually from running, sprinting or jumping. Simple conservative treatments are often effective in healing shin splints.

Things You'll Need

  • Ice pack
  • Protective footwear
  • Rest and avoid strenuous activities that will put more strain on your leg as this will only prolong your recovery period. Do not run. Instead, replace your usual workouts with low impact exercises like swimming or stationary cycling.

  • Relieve the pain by icing your leg with ice packs for 15 to 20 minutes, about 4 to 8 times a day depending on your injury.

  • Elevate your leg at night to reduce the swelling. The Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research recommends elevating the affected tibia above the level of your heart to help heal your shin splint.

  • Wear protective footwear to cushion your foot and leg against the impact and stress of your activities. Throw away old worn out running shoes that no longer provide sufficient cushioning. Lack of support from your shoes can cause additional strain to your shin which can worsen your condition.

  • Resume running in a gradual manner once all symptoms of your shin splint disappear. Do not run until you are completely recovered.

Tips & Warnings

  • You can also use over-the-counter pain reliever medications to help reduce pain.
  • Aside from wearing protective footwear, consider wearing orthotic shoe inserts for arch supports. It will help protect and disperse stress on your tibia or shinbones.

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