What are Shin Splints?
Shin splints involve a type of strain from overwork or overtraining in the area along the shin bone in the front of the lower leg, which is also called the tibia. (The condition is also commonly known as anterior tibial stress syndrome.) Shin splints are common in athletes of all different categories.
What Causes Shin Splints? How Are They Treated?
Overuse of the legs or overtraining can cause shin splints – suddenly increasing training too much, running on very hard surfaces, running downhill or at extreme angles for long periods of time, running on rough terrain, or not resting enough in between long runs could cause shin splints to occur. Basically, any vigorous, heavy activity done with the legs might cause the inflammation of the muscles, tendons, and bone tissue around your shin.
Those that participate in activities where the legs experience repetitive stress, such as fast starts and stops, or excessive pressure, are at risk of developing shin splints. This may include:
- Military recruits
Also, those with foot issues such as people with flat feet or high arches are more likely to experience shin splints. Women have been found to be more likely than men to develop shin splints. If you have very tight calf muscles or hamstrings, weak quadriceps or foot arch muscles, a weak core, weak muscles in the thighs and buttocks, a lack of flexibility-especially at the ankle-or overpronation or over supination (the foot rolls inward or outward as you move), you could be at a higher risk of developing shin splints. Improper training techniques are another common cause.
Symptoms may include swelling, pain, the sensation of heat in the front part of the leg, pain that starts after activity starts and persists when resting, tenderness, numbness, and weakness. While sometimes shin splints are purely muscle related, there can also be tiny stress fractures that, if left untreated, can worsen into worse fractures / breaks in the bone.
An initial regimen of ice, rest, and anti-inflammatory pain relievers can be used to reduce swelling and pain. Some additional treatment options consist of:
- Using a roller
- Ensuring the right shoes are worn
- Ensuring proper arch supports are in footwear
- Strength training to build the muscles of the legs
- Using kinesiology tape
Using kinesiology tape is a very effective rehabilitative taping technique. It facilitates healing by providing extra support to the body’s muscles, ligaments, joints, and tendons. You can use it along the legs, Achilles tendon, and feet effectively for the recovery from shin splints (as well as a number of other conditions).
Besides giving support, kinesiology tape also works to promote recovery by decompressing the area. This affects the area’s pain receptors. They send signals to the brain to release tension in the area, providing relief.
Kinesiology tape is lightweight, and has some give to it, so that it moves with you; it’s stretchy and flexible. Kinesiology tape has medical-grade adhesive, which means it will stay for an extended period of time – up to five days. Since shin splints may take up to two weeks to recover fully from, this is very useful. This kinesiology tape is also waterproof and water-resistant, holding up despite sweat and through regular training conditions if used in prevention after recovery from shin splints when you begin training again.
Where to Purchase Treatment Products
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