Many runners want to know: “how to get rid of shin splints?” It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been running; shin splints can happen to anyone. For example, collegiate or professional runners might experience shin splints if they run too much in racing flats or spikes.
The best way to get rid of shin splints is prevention, so I’ll also share how to prevent shin splints.
First, what are Shin Splints?
Shin Splints are more of an umbrella or catch-all term that describes a wide range of lower-leg injuries and leg pain. The medical term for shin splints is known as “Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome,” also known as MTSS.
Shin splints are caused by repeated impact to the bone tissue, tendons, and muscles surrounding the tibia. This leads to inflammation along with the tissue and muscles.
Where do You Feel Shin Splints?
Shin splints are usually felt on the inner edge of the shinbone, the tibia, or the front. Occasionally they are felt on the inner side of the leg too.
What are the Symptoms of Shin Splints?
To get rid of shin splints, first, figure out what your symptoms are. Usually, shin splints feel like a dull ache along the front or sides of your shin. Shin splints are painful to the touch, and you might even feel small lumps on your shin. If your pain becomes severe or very noticeable in one leg more than the other, it might be time to see if you have a stress reaction or stress fracture. As always, a doctor and a professional is the best way to figure out your pain (not a blog post).
Here are more symptoms of shin splints:
- Dull ache in the front of the lower leg
- Tenderness in the lower leg
- Numbness or weakness in the lower leg
- Pain that develops in the shins during exercise
- Muscle and calve pain in the lower leg
What causes shin splints?
Just like most running injuries, there are several causes of shin splints, but most are because of overuse. Doing high-impact activities too fast or too soon can be a major trigger.
Other causes of shin splints:
- Increasing Your Mileage or Intensity too Fast: Usually one of the most common triggers to shin splints. Usually, decreasing stopping your intensity is one of the easiest ways to get rid of shin splints.
- Wearing the wrong shoes” This could mean the wrong shoe for you or your running shoes are worn out or not made for running. Wearing lightweight and minimal running (like the Nike Free) is a big cause of shin splints.
- Poor Form: Sometimes, running form such as heel striking can be a significant cause.
- Running on Hard Surfaces: If you recently started running on harder surfaces when your body isn’t used to it.
How to Treat Shin Splints:
Rest cures many bone-related and stress injuries, and getting rid of shin splints is not an exception. No one wants to take injury-related rest, but continuing to run on shin splints can make them worse. Cross-train using activities that don’t feel as bad, including swimming, strength training, or biking.
Products that can Provide Relief:
- Medical grade compression sleeves: Many compression socks and sleeves are glorified tube socks. Find medical-grade compression socks to help promote blood flow.
- Appropriate taping: Getting a professional PT to take your legs appropriately can help promote blood flow.
- Foam Roll: Foam rolling your calves can help release shins.
Finally, can Orthotics Help With Shin Splints?
The jury is still out for this. For some, yes; for others, no. Most importantly, you need a quality running shoe.
While preventing and getting rid of shin splints isn’t fun, most runners make a full recovery fairly quickly and can get back to doing what they love.
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Questions for you:
How do you get rid of shin splints?
Have you had shin splints before?