You might be working out, jogging, or may be exercising strenuously. But the very next moment, you witness a heavy and awful pain in your lower leg. If you witnessed any such situation before, then this must be shin splints.
This situation is a condition of pain in the leg. It can be treated effectively and conveniently. Individuals experiencing shin splints feel aching and dull pain in their lower leg. On touching the shin bone after performing a physical task, your bone would appear sore. Even the skin might be swollen and red.
If the shin pain is extremely high then this can be due to a fracture. It can also be due to the syndrome of anterior compartment. If you are not able to find relief even after few days of rest then the shin splints may get worse. In such situation, it is important to seek a doctor.
But before you head towards the doctor, let me just tell you one thing. It is possible to treat shin splint with home remedies. But before that, it is essential that you are sure about the condition. Hence, let us begin with having a glance at what exactly a shin splint is!
Table of Contents
- What are Shin Splints? – Know About Shin Splints!
- Compartment Syndrome
- Stress Fracture
- What Causes Shin Splints?
- Symptoms of Shin Splints
- How to Get Rid of Shin Splints
- 1. Rectify Your Form of Running
- 2. Take Rest for Few Days and then Start Slow
- 3. Cross Training and Stretches for Shin Splints
- 4. Foam Rolling and Massage Therapy
- 5. Wear Shoes that Support Your Foot
- How to Fix Shin Splints through Homemade Ways
- 1. Cold or Hot Compress
- 2. Juice of Cherry
- 3. Essential Oils in a Hot Tub
- 4. Root of Ginger
- 5. Salt of Epsom
- 6. Juice of Pickle
- 7. Apple Cider Vinegar or ACV
- 8. Turmeric
- 9. Almonds
- 10. Pineapple
- 11. Root of Valerian
What are Shin Splints? – Know About Shin Splints!
The problem of shin splints occurs mainly because of performing an exercise or a physical workout improperly. It is caused because of extreme pain in the shin bone. The shin bone is a big bone in the area of the lower leg.
Medically, a shin splint is known as Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome. It is caused because of overworked or overstressed muscles, bone tissues, and tendons. For this reason, this problem commonly occurs in athletes, dancers, and individuals performing too much physical workout.
This pain or inflammation can be within the front or inside the edges of the shin. In most situations, it tends to be because of over-stretching of the muscles which are connected to the shin. If you are just beginning to exercise, then you may experience this problem often.
Other than shin splints, the pain in the shin can occur because of two other problems:
There are multiple muscle compartments in the lower leg. These muscles can become inflamed because of stress or an injury. Such a condition is known as compartment syndrome. So, even this problem can result in shin pain.
Another reason for the occurrence of shin pain is a stress fracture. This situation occurs due to repeated stress in the shin bone. This situation can be because of an injury called as a stress fracture.
Now that you know what a shin splint is, it is essential to know about the causes as well as the symptoms of this disorder.
What Causes Shin Splints?
The most common cause of shin splint is excessive running or running for the first time. Other than this the other common causes of shin splints are:
- High level of intense training
- A sudden hike in your exercising routine, including a sudden increase in the intensity of your workout
- Performing exercises in an inappropriate way
- Overuse of the leg
- Muscle tightness
- Imbalance of the muscle
- Wearing unsupportive footwear
- Performing training on sloping or uneven surfaces
- Placing additional stress on the tendons and shin muscles
- Problems with the posture of foot, like flat feet
If you are following an inadequate way of running then shin splints can be a problem. For instance, taking long leaps places excessive force on the shins. This can lead to the problem of shin splint.
Symptoms of Shin Splints
Pain in shin can occur suddenly, particularly when you begin performing a novel exercise routine. The pain might build over time and then show up at one point in time. This pain may target four muscles resulting in excess tenderness and pain.
The four muscles involved in the shin pain are – Soleus, Gastrocnemius, Tibialis Posterior, and Tibialis Anterior. All these four muscles support the heel and calf to lift the heel and move the arches of feet to roll in an upward direction while you are running or walking.
The symptoms of shin splints may occur when such muscles fail to work in a normal way. It is because they suffer from conflicts and high demand of poor running. This implies that there is difficulty in moving of the bones and muscles together.
- Pain in the lower leg
- Experiencing pain while performing any exercise
- Pain on both or one side of the bone shin
- Numbness and weakness in feet
- Feeling Soreness and Tenderness in the Inner Leg
- Muscle Pain
- Swelling in leg on the lower part
- Experiencing pain even while sitting
- Small bruising around the shin area
- Experiencing pain while standing for long time period
How to Get Rid of Shin Splints
If you are done with your self-diagnose about shin splints then the next step is to get rid of it.
To be sure about your diagnosis you can get an X-ray done for shin splints. Also, you can do a physical exam and converse with a physical therapist about such pain and past injuries. Once you have identified all the possible causes of this problem, it is now time to head towards shin splints cure.
Most experts consider that it is vital to stop running for a certain period to relieve shin pain. But if you follow this then you will develop this habit. As a result, when you begin performing physical workouts after some time, then this will result in the same problem again. Hence, you must take rest, but for a shorter time duration.
Besides taking painkillers suggested by your expert, there are various measures that you can adopt to get rid of shin splint. So, here I present the perfect shin splints treatment to you!
1. Rectify Your Form of Running
Running in a proper form can be practiced if you are not blessed with it naturally. The best method to rectify your form of running is to visit an expert therapist. The therapist can teach you the perfect way to run. He can explain you the same through videos and other methods.
The correct way of running begins with the lifting of toes and rolling the arches in an upward direction. Then hit the ground with the outside foot. Now roll the foot inwards gently known as eversion. After this, lift the heel. Push your heel to lift uniformly without placing too much pressure.
Some of the common ways to run incorrectly are:
- Failing to roll the arches upward with flat a foot, which implies you’re stepping would result in collapsing of arches.
- Ensuring that your heel hits the ground abruptly without even rolling it
- Placing too much pressure on the toes and rolling in an inward direction
- Unable to lift the toes
The finest way to ensure that you run properly is to avoid placing too much pressure on the heel. The heel must place adequate contact with the ground. If this does not occur when the foot rolls inward, which leads to instability of the ankle. This type can also make the toes to do maximum pushing during the lift that adds intense pain and stress on the toes.
2. Take Rest for Few Days and then Start Slow
It is essential for your muscle to recover properly. Otherwise, it can result in a severe problem. If your muscles are torn then you may experience trouble while running. This can also cause scarring of tissue and adhesions of the muscle tissue. Hence, take some rest for few days.
After this, you may begin a new program of exercising. Build up not more than 10% of the intensity every week. After this, it will be easier for you to prevent experiencing shin splints.
3. Cross Training and Stretches for Shin Splints
Another way to cure shin splints is to reduce the volume of stress placed on the leg. This can be done through cross-training. It means performing different types of exercises every week, rather than sticking to one exercise daily. This way, you will be able to build strength in the muscle area. This will support your shin muscle while performing running or any strenuous activity of the heel.
For example, you can perform an exercise to strengthen the core muscle. Other than this, you can try strength training few times a week. This will build your lower and upper body without straining the shins. In addition to this, you can perform other exercises like biking, yoga, swimming laps, TRX, and simple walking. These are best ways to break the week in doing various exercises.
Shin splint stretching is another way to alleviate the shin pain. For this, you need to stretch the Achilles heel gently by kneeling down on the floor with the feet and legs together. Point back the toes carefully. Make sure you sit gently on the heels and calves for few second. This is known as stretching of the shin.
4. Foam Rolling and Massage Therapy
Massaging your feet and calves with ice and foam rolling are the best ways to prevent swelling in the shin splints. These are highly beneficial for the shin pains as they treat the pain throughout the entire the legs.
When a scar tissue appears on the injuries of the head muscle, the joints between tissues can become tight and stiff if the muscles are not movable.
Safely moving the muscles break the adhesions. Some of the massage experts suggest to massage the calves. The calf therapy using foam roller can be applied by placing the foam roller on the floor, placing the body on top of the roller and under the calves and moving forth and back.
You can do the same on the sides or back of the calves too. This may be tight or painful but this prevents the future aches. Roll this area for 1 minute and then take a break for an equal time. Repeat this for few minutes on a daily basis.
5. Wear Shoes that Support Your Foot
There are few sneakers in the market that offer great support to the shins as well as the feet. When you are exercising then you must wear such shoes.
When you select the right type of shoes then your feet will feel comfortable. At the same time, it will offer relaxation to your shin and the nearby muscles. You can always talk to an expert to purchase such shoes. He will take your proper measure and then offer you with shoes that are of proper measure to your arches.
A vital aspect of the shin splint treatment is to wear the footwear that is as per your specific sport or exercise. So, replace your worn out sneaker and start practicing with your new sneakers for every 300 to 500 miles every day.
How to Fix Shin Splints through Homemade Ways
1. Cold or Hot Compress
You Will Require
- A cold or hot compress
- Take a cold or hot compress and place it in the region that is affected.
- Leave it for around 20 minutes.
- Remove the compress. You will feel relief instantly.
You must do this every 4 hours each day for a week.
The cold and hot compresses are great to reduce the inflammation as well as pain from shin splints.
2. Juice of Cherry
You will require
- 1 glass of cherry juice without any added sugar
- Drink a glass of fresh cherry juice every day.
Drink this every day, particularly before you experience an intense exercise session.
Cherries are rich in compounds known as anthocyanins that possess high antioxidant properties. They are great to reduce inflammation and are great to cure shin splints.
3. Essential Oils in a Hot Tub
You will require
- A hot water tub
- 1 teaspoons of essential oil such as eucalyptus or lavender oil
- Prepare a hot water bathtub by adding lukewarm water into it.
- Add 2 teaspoons of essential oils in the hot tub.
- Now soak yourself in the bathing tub and relax for around 15 to 20 minutes.
So, if you want to know how to treat shin splints then this is a highly effective remedy. Hot water is great to alleviate the inflammation. Also, the essential oil delivers soothing effects to the body and helps relax the muscle.
4. Root of Ginger
You will require
- 2 inches of the ginger root and cut it into finely chopped pieces
- A cheese cloth
- A bowl full of hot water
- Take a ginger root and chop it into small pieces.
- Place the chopped ginger in the cheese cloth and soak it in a hot water bowl for one minute.
- Now take the ginger and compress it. After this, apply it to the area where you are experiencing pain and allow the ginger to work for few minutes.
Practice this numerous times a day.
Ginger is rich in anti-inflammatory properties. This can help alleviate the swelling and inflammation resulting from shin splints. Moreover, ginger also releases analgesic properties that can instantly alleviate the pain.
5. Salt of Epsom
You will require
- A cup of Epsom salt
- 1 bucket filled with water
- Add Epsom salt to the bath water in a bucket or tub.
- Use this water to relax and bathe your muscles.
Follow this three times a week
Epsom salt is rich in magnesium sulfate and possesses anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce the inflammation as well as the pain resulted from shin splints. The magnesium present in this salt imparts high benefits and analgesic activities on it.
6. Juice of Pickle
You will require
- 1/3 cup of the pickle juice
- It is essential to consume pickle juice before performing or after any intense activities and exercises.
Drink the juice one time on a daily basis.
Pickle juice contains vinegar and this is why it is excellent in potassium. This is a highly active ingredient that is used for so many years to alleviate the cramps and muscle inflammation. This makes the juice of pickle one of the finest economical treatments for the shin splints.
7. Apple Cider Vinegar or ACV
You will require
- A tablespoon of ACV
- A glass of water
- Honey is optional
- Add about a tablespoon of ACV to a glass of lukewarm water. Add honey as well. Mix the three ingredients well.
- Consume this mixture on a daily basis.
ACV or Apple Cider Vinegar contains acetic acid that includes excellent anti-inflammatory properties. It can combat the problem of shin splints completely.
You will require
- A tablespoon of turmeric powder
- Lukewarm water
- If you are wondering how to heal shin splints then this is one of the best remedies.
- Take some turmeric powder. Add enough water to it to create a thick paste.
- Now take the paste and apply it to the affected region where you are experiencing the problem because of the shin.
- Let the turmeric rest on the region for 20 minutes. Wash the region with warm water.
- Along with this, you can also consume a glass of hot turmeric milk on a daily basis.
The procedure must be followed 2 times in a day to get maximum relief.
Turmeric is rich in a compound known as curcumin that has powerful analgesic as well as anti-inflammatory properties. This is great to treat the shin splints.
This remedy is a great answer to your question how to treat shin splints.
You will require
- 10 almonds
- Take 10 almonds and soak them in clean water overnight.
- The next morning, peel the almonds and consume them. You can even blend the almonds with a glass of lukewarm milk. Drink this milk.
You may drink the almond milk every morning during breakfast.
Almonds possess high anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. As a result, they are able to treat the pain and inflammation resulting from the shin splints.
You will require
- A cup of water
- A cup of finely sliced pineapples
- Take the pineapple and blend it in the blender with water.
- If you are fond of pineapple then you can even chew pineapple pieces directly.
Drink pineapple juice or chew pineapple once every day.
Pineapples possess excellent anti-inflammatory properties. It is because pineapple contains an active enzyme known as bromelain. This enzyme imparts high beneficial properties to the pineapple and even possesses excellent analgesic properties. Hence, pineapple is one of the finest and most effective methods to treat shin splints. Also, it helps to reduce the painful symptoms of the problem easily.
11. Root of Valerian
You will require
- 2 tablespoons of valerian root
- A cup of water
- Adding honey is optional
- Take the root of valerian and add it to one cup of water.
- Now add this mixture to a saucepan and boil it over the flame.
- After this add honey to it. You may avoid adding honey if you can tolerate the slightly sour taste of the mix.
Drink this mixture at least 3 times a day.
Valerian is an extensively used herb that possesses high anti-inflammatory properties. Moreover, this herb contains excellent antispasmodic and analgesic effects that can help the shin muscles to relax as well as reduce the pain.
How to Prevent Shin Splints
Treatments are great but prevention is always better. Some preventive tips for shin splints are:
- Strengthening the core, calves, shin, and glutes muscles by performing adequate exercises
- Avoid Heel stressing exercises. It is because this can worsen the impact and increase the risk of damage caused by shin splints.
- Wear right type of shoes.
- Compression socks must be adorned to reduce the soreness of muscle.
So, practice these shin splint exercises and adopt these preventive measures to get rid of this problem. If despite practicing such measures you don’t get relief from shin splint then consult a doctor immediately.