Shin splints are one of the most common injuries faced by a runner and it refers to pain and discomfort in the area between your knees and ankles.
One of the most common reasons for shin injuries is sudden increase in your running volume, something most beginners are prone to do. In order to push yourself beyond your comfort zone, you may have given your legs more than they can withstand. Which is why FirstRun is built around the principle of gradual increase in volume and workload.
Let’s get in-depth information about shin injuries and see what the RunDoctor has to say…
The pain points
If pain occurs when you run a little or when you keep your feet down off the bed in the morning, you may already be putting too much strain your shins. Shin splints are painful tears in the muscles that surround your shin bone. Typically pain will radiate from the shin area and spread towards your knees and ankles as the injury gets exacerbated. Never run with a painful shin, no matter how committed you are.
The road to recovery
Firstly, rest as much as you can without getting bogged down by the missed runs. Remember if you aggravate the shin injury, you could be looking at shin fractures or stress fractures. Do not worsen the pain by continuing to run. If you feel the need to be active, walk. But at an extremely light pace.
After consulting with a orthopaedic, wear an air-cast ankle brace that will help stabilize your ankle and make sure your steps are not causing more harm to your legs.
For mild pain, drugs like ibuprofen, naproxen, or aspirin, should be enough. These will help you reduce pain and swelling. But do consult a physician if pain persists beyond a reasonable time after taking the drugs.
Pay more attention to your shoes and strides. Once you start running again, pay closer attention to details such as your strike zone and the number of strides. Never get back to running full steam immediately after recovery. Follow a gradual recovery process and your shins will return stronger. Make sure your shoes are not actually causing you to run with the wrong form. They can play a major role once you have already got some running experience under your belt.
Finally, here’s some handy advice from our RunDoctor Shayamal Vallabhjee on shin splints, dealing with the pain, and the recovery process.
Your physiotherapy recovery should include range-of-motion exercises that mimic your running gait. Like you stuck to your running schedule, stick to the recovery plan set by your therapist. That will hold you in good stead more than any other method of getting back to running.