Shin splints is a general term used to refer to a painful condition in the shins. It is often caused by running or jumping or sprinting, and may be very slow to heal.
Experts agree that when shin splints strike, you should stop running completely or decrease your training. Then ice your shin to reduce inflammation. Here’s a sampling of the tips Marlene suggests:
- Gently stretch your Achilles if you have medial shin splints, and your calves if you have anterior shin splints. Also, try this stretch for your shins: Kneel on a carpeted floor, legs and feet together and toes pointed directly back. Then slowly sit back onto your calves and heels, pushing your ankles into the floor until you feel tension in the muscles of your shin. Hold for 10 to 12 seconds, relax and repeat.
- In a sitting position, trace the alphabet on the floor with your toes. Do this with each leg. Or alternate walking on your heels for 30 seconds with 30 seconds of regular walking. Repeat four times. These exercises are good for both recovery and prevention. Try to do them three times a day.
- If you continue running, wrap your leg before you go out. Use either tape or an Ace bandage, starting just above the ankle and continuing to just below the knee. Keep wrapping your leg until the pain goes away, which usually takes three to six weeks.
Check out the Z-CoiL Freedom athletic shoe, which may prevent pain in your shins when running. Because the conical coil acts as a shock-absorber, you will be placing less pressure on your joints with each stride.