Ah, the dreaded shin splints. We’ve all experienced pain in the front of our lower legs before, due to exercise. Recently, I too fell victim to this pain, by literally jumping into skipping rope for a new workout routine without the proper shoes and not warming up my legs enough.
So what are shin splints? Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome (MTSS) is when the muscles, tendons and bone tissue in the front of the lower leg become inflamed. The tissues swell causing pressure against the shinbone (tibia) which in turn can cause minor to extreme pain. Running and jump rope are a couple of examples of excessive stress on the leg that may lead to this pain.
So what did I do when my shins were burning? I whined…and then I realized my shoes were partly to blame. I made sure to buy brand new, good-quality running shoes. What a world of difference. Immediately I had some relief.
An ice pack quickly became my new best friend and if I can, I try to apply the ice for at least 10 minutes each side following exercise. The ice helps bring the inflammation down, in turn relieving the swelling and of course the pain.
Another good idea to alleviate and prevent shin splints is stretching. It’s always a good idea to warm up the muscles before starting a work out to help prevent injury and muscle tears. Stretch before and after a warm-up and workout. I cannot stress that enough.
Massage therapy is also very beneficial to help ease and soothe sore muscles. Massage will help break down any adhesions between muscles and bone to prevent any restrictions in the range of motion. When in doubt go see a certified massage therapist, they’ll know what to do!