09 Oct How to Get Rid of Shin Splints: 5 Different Treatment Options
Shin splints rarely start out as a serious problem. However, they do become serious if you ignore them. In time, a shin split can become one of the worst running injuries you ever endure. As a runner, it is in your best interest to know how to get rid of shin splints. Fortunately, you have a lot of different options to consider.
1. Insert an Orthotic
For a runner who strikes with the heel or overpronates while running, replacing the standard foam liner in a shoe with a supportive orthotic is vital in both treating and preventing shin splints. In addition, this helps prevent other injuries, such as Achilles tendinitis, plantar fasciitis, runner’s knee, and iliotibial band syndrome. The only real issue a runner will face with orthotics is initial newness. Unfortunately, there is not an easy answer regarding how long does it take to get used to orthotics. If you frequently wear insoles, you will adjust faster than someone who never puts anything extra in his or her shoes.
2. Reduce Running
If overextending yourself causes shin splints, the easy solution is to stop overextending yourself. As a runner, you have two options: cut back on the frequency or cut back on the distance. Cutting back is the alternative to shin splints becoming so bad your running career comes to a halt. You dial back and consider some treatment options, such as:
- Physical Therapy
- Chiropractic Care
You can also start massaging and icing your calves on a regular basis.
3. Change Your Shoes
A regular shoe does not provide the arch support needed to run on a regular basis. If you are a runner, you need supportive running shoes. Look at reviews to learn about the stability, support, grip, and motion control of the shoe. Maybe do a quick search for top running shoes. Sporting stores usually have a selection of running shoes to browse, as well.
More importantly, a runner also should know when to replace his or her running shoes. Running shoes do have a life expectancy. After running about 300 miles, it is time to get a new pair of shoes. Running in worn-out running shoes is just as bad as running in regular shoes.
4. Diagnose the Pain
Make sure the pain you feel is shin splints. Does the pain go away while you run? Does the pain stay in one spot or radiate? If the pain is acute or comes and goes in waves, it is likely something other than shin splints. The easiest way to diagnose the source is to make an appointment with a doctor experienced in ankle and foot pain.
5. Mid-Foot Strike
When running, always strike the ground with the middle of your foot. Striking the ground with your toes or your heel just causes running injuries, such as shin splints, to progress. The correct running gait is necessary for someone who runs regularly.
Treating and preventing shin splints requires dialing back on running, icing and massaging calves, proper running gait, and seeking medical help if the pain gets worse.