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Shin Splints

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written by runnergirl training

Shin splints is a term used for pain along the front of the shins on the lower legs. It usually is felt along the tibia but can also be experienced at the top, outer part of the lower leg on the tibialis anterior muscle. The pain is caused from a variety of problems. See below for easy remedies for shin splint pain.


The inflammation in the lower leg, micro trauma and tears in the muscles, or pain in the tibialis anterior muscle high on the lower outer leg can cause the pain from shin splints.

There are several causes of shin splint or tibialis pain including:
Overuse
Running in shoes without adequate cushion and shock absorption
Jumping
Increasing running mileage too quickly
Foot excessively rolling in or out when striking the ground
Inadequate lower leg flexibility

The first line of treatment for shin splints or tibialis anterior pain is RICE.
Rest:
Stop all running, jumping and weight bearing exercises. If tolerable, replace them with cycling, swimming or other non-weight bearing activities.

Ice:
Apply ice for 20 minutes every hour until the symptoms improve. This will reduce swelling.

Compression:
Use an ACE bandage or ankle support brace to apply compression to reduce swelling.

Elevation:
Elevate the lower leg above heart level throughout the day. When sitting or laying make sure to prop up your leg. This will decrease swelling and pressure in the lower leg.

You can also perform lower leg stretches and exercises to prevent joint stiffness or muscle weakness. If tolerable you can try the following:
Writing the alphabet with your foot
Calf raises
Walk on heels
Walk on toes
Stretch the ankle to the side with a resistance band on the forefoot


If symptoms do not improve or there is obviously deformity and swelling see a doctor. It is better to seek medical care early than have an injury that never healed properly. Hopefully these tips will help if you are faced with shin splints or tibialis anterior pain.



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