What Causes Shin Splints?
Shin splints are well known to the medical field as Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome (MTSS). It is characterized by a varying degree of pain in the lower leg between the knee and down the front of the shin bone to the ankle. The muscle tissue near the shin bone can be swollen or tender to touch. Shin splints can be quite painful for some individuals causing them to halt their physical activity all together, while others may just experience some mild discomfort and can scale back their activity levels until they are completely healed.
There are many different factors that can cause shin splints. The important thing is to figure out why you have acquired the shin splints in order to gauge how you will recover and prevent shin splint injuries again in the future. If you have trouble diagnosing why you have shin splints, you may be best to talk to your local family physician or sports therapist who is trained in specific sports injuries. They would be able to pinpoint easier the exact cause of your troubles in order to aid your recovery and prevention.
Shin splints will happen to many individuals for a number of different reasons. Typically it is caused due to extreme physical activity or repetitive motions. You and your doctor may discuss a number of other reasons why shin splints develop, such as a lack of proper training techniques, improper footwear, muscle weakness or even an anatomical abnormality in your muscles. Other activities such as running downhill and running on an uneven surface can also contribute to shin splints.
Often, those individuals who participate in sports that have fast stopping and starting activities such as basketball, racquetball or even soccer, tend to be more prone to shin splints. If you have rigid arches in your feet, or flat feet, you could develop shin splints more often than those individuals who do not suffer from such foot issues. Typically women are more prone to shin splints than men, as well as military recruits and those individuals who are dancers.
There are many preventative measures you can take to ensure that the symptoms of shin splints are minimized and future injuries are reduced. There isn't one perfect way to heal shin splints or a specific amount of time in which it will be healed. Everyone's rate of healing is different and only you can tell when you are feeling back to normal and can resume activity once more. The best course of action is to keep in touch with your doctor or sports therapist and follow your recovery procedures with ice, stretching and anti-inflammatory medications. It can take anywhere from 3 to 6 months in order to heal shin splints completely, but your results may vary depending on your muscle tissue and your recovery plan. If you want a step-by-step guide on how Olympic athletes speed up the healing time of their shin splints to just 3 days, make sure you check out the "Stop Shin Splints Forever" program.
Using footwear with the correct arch support and cushioning for your feet, warming up before vigorous exercises and ensuring that you do not overexert yourself during exercise is important when you are trying to recover from shin splints. Try to stay away from uneven terrain or hard concrete surfaces during exercises; take it easy and if you start to feel pain in your shins once again, cease your activity. Regular icing of your legs will help keep the swelling down and aid with the sensitive nerves in your legs during your recovery.