Get Rid of Shin Splints. Forever!
Shin splints hinder your exercise. Here's how to get rid of them and make sure they never come back.
You have decided to do something good for yourself and your body. You are out exercising every day, running, pushing yourself to new levels. You feel great, except for the fact that there is a pain in your legs that makes further exercise almost unbearable. "What is this terrible pain in my shins?!?!" You might be thinking. Chances are good that if you have been pushing your legs to the limit, then that pain you are feeling is shin splints.
Shin splints are characterized by a sharp and uncomfortable pain either on the inside (posterior side) of the shin or along the outside (anterior side) of it. It's a sore and tender feeling that makes exercise hard. Shin splints are also known as medial tibial stress syndrome, and occur when the muscles and tissues in the shin become overworked, typically due to an increase in intensity of your workouts. This results in inflammation and pain in the shin area. Sometimes the pain is so bad that people give up on exercise entirely.
Don't give up on your exercise, though! Shin splints are temporary, and we can make the pain disappear entirely. Some say that the RICE method helps make them go away, but there's a faster way to reduce shin splint pain, and it only takes a few minutes a day (6 minutes, to be exact).
1. Sit on the ground, put your legs straight out in front of you.
2. Pull your feet towards your shins as hard as you can (using just your leg muscles). Hold for 60 seconds. This is going to be tough, but you need to hold it!
3. Rest your leg for 60 seconds. Repeat 2 more times for a total of 3 sets.
You should start feeling better by the end of the first week. It doesn't matter when you do this - but after exercise seems the best as your muscles are already warmed up and limber. This exercise helps both stretch and strengthen the shin area. It's going to be very hard holding your legs in that position, but the longer you can hold it, the faster your shin splints will go away. In addition to this exercise, you can try the following stretch:
This is very easy and requires only one step. You simply kneel down on the ground and tuck your feet so that the tops of your toes are touching the ground. Not making sense? Here's a picture:
Hold this position for 60 seconds and also repeat 3 times, or as much as needed. Once you feel like your shins have gotten a good enough stretch, go ahead and stop. Repeat throughout the week as necessary until your shin splints are gone.
To further help prevent shin splints, you can try wearing a compressive sleeve over the shins. DonJoy makes a compressive sleeve specifically for shin splints. Typically, this isn't needed, and the exercise routine should help get rid of your shin splints quickly, but a specially designed sleeve might be worth a go if you are looking for a passive way of handling shin splints.
DonJoy's sleeve for shin splints