If you’re reading this article, you probably have some sort of shin pain that has become too painful to be ignored any longer. You have also probably sleuthed through the internet trying to diagnose yourself, and found the common diagnosis of shin splints. We are going to discuss the fastest way you can get rid of shin splints and return to activity pain-free. For the purpose of this article, we are going assume that you indeed have shin splints, although it is important to have a real-life qualified medical professional (not webmd) make that diagnosis to rule out other injuries.
Step #1: Let the Injury Begin Healing
The first and most important thing to do with any injury is to encourage proper healing as soon as possible. Shin splints are no exception. If you continue to aggravate the injury, healing will be compromised, and you will either worsen your injury or slow healing. The sooner you stop the activity that led to shin splints, the sooner it will heal.
Compression of the area using calf sleeves may help increase circulation. Ice may be useful initially to help with pain, but recent research indicates that ice can slow metabolism and limit inflammation. Inflammation of an injury is part of a series of healing processes of the body, and excessive ice may actually slow injury healing. So go easy on the ice.
Step #2: Build a Recovery Plan
Now that you have begun allowing the injury to heal, you need to build a recovery plan. If you just lie around resting, eventually your body will heal itself, but you will be just as likely to experience shin splints again. A good recovery plan includes two things: exercises that will increase muscle strength, addressing the underlying weaknesses that led to your injury, and gradual return to activity that will not allow your shin splints to reoccur.
To build a recovery plan, first identify what led to your shin splints. Was it too much activity too fast? Was it weakness in the calf, foot, or tibialis muscle? Was it a combination of factors? Identifying the cause will help you build a plan to strengthen weak muscles and begin gradually progressing to the activity that caused your shin splints. Work on exercises to strengthen your legs and feet so that you return to activity stronger than when you started. Calf raises, tibialis anterior strengthening, and plantar strengthening are good places to start.
Tibialis Anterior Strengthening Exercise:
Some Great Calf Stretching Exercises:
Finally, determine when to begin increasing the intensity of the exercises and when to start progressing to the activity that caused shin splints. Jumping straight back into activity will highly increase the chance your shin splints come back. Your recovery plan should allow you to return to activity slowly and cautiously, building up volume and intensity over time.
Step #3: THE MOST IMPORTANT STEP!!!
Take out the guesswork. If you are serious about getting rid of your shin splints, see a qualified physical therapist. As you now realize, it is a complicated process to figure out the true cause of your shin splints and how to fix them for good. To get rid of shin splints fast, see someone who does it for a living and knows how to find the root cause of the problem. A physical therapist can easily assess your weaknesses, and develop a plan specific for you to get your back to activity as fast as possible. This will include specific strengthening techniques to address the underlying cause of your injury, as well as a plan to return to activity and progress at a level that is safe. This will ensure you don’t ever have to worry about shin splints again. There really is no substitute for being examined by a physical therapist if you think you have shin splints.
At Synergy we use new and highly effective techniques to fast track the healing process. This allows you to jump ahead and get on to the solution phase much faster, many times within days. These very same methods are being used by professional athletes across the country and now you have access to these very same methods right here in Pueblo! This is something you really should try.
If you are in the Southern Colorado area and want to make an appointment to see a physical therapist, or even if you just have questions about shin splints, call us at 719-568-9790 to get scheduled and be sure you are on the right track to get rid of shin splints as fast as possible.
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/shin-splints/symptoms-causes/syc-20354105#:~:text=Shin%20splints%20are%20common%20in,muscles%2C%20tendons%20and%20bone%20tissue. Accessed 4/13/2022.
Singh DP, Barani Lonbani Z, Woodruff MA, Parker TJ, Steck R, Peake JM. Effects of Topical Icing on Inflammation, Angiogenesis, Revascularization, and Myofiber Regeneration in Skeletal Muscle Following Contusion Injury. Front Physiol. 2017 Mar 7;8:93. doi: 10.3389/fphys.2017.00093. PMID: 28326040; PMCID: PMC5339266.