header

 

 

Shin splints treatment

 

The best shin splints treatment in the initial phase is REST! I know that's a bitter pill to swallow for all sportsmen and women but resting in the initial stages is imperative to prevent further damage. Do not attempt to do any sports that cause the shins to hurt until the pain has gone completely If you want to keep exercising, try swimming or another low-impact activity. You may want to try working out on non-impact elliptical trainers (cross trainers) which will give you exactly the same cardio work out as running but without the impact forces. Because these machines support your body weight, they put less stress on your lower legs. when your shins feel better.

Inflammation at the insertion of the muscle into the bone can last for upto 6 months post injury. If an athleter continues to exercise or tries to 'run through' the pain then scar tissue can occur and this can mean surgery. Remember only 45-5-% of shin splints surgery is effective.

R.I.C.E

 

Rest - You should rest from all activities that cause pain or limping. Use crutches/cane until you can walk without pain or limping.

Ice - Place a plastic bag with ice on the ankle for 15-20 minutes, 3-5 times a day for the first 24-72 hours. Leave the ice off at least 1 1/2 hours between applications.

Compression - Wrap an elastic bandage from the toes to mid calf, using even pressure. Wear this until swelling decreases. Loosen the wrap if your toes start to turn blue or feel cold.

Elevate - Make sure to elevate the ankle above heart level.

 

 

Shin splints treatment - to restore normal function

Once the acute symptoms have settled down it is necessary to rehabilitate the affect leg.

3 to 10 days post R.I.C.E

 

Technique:

 Sit with your knee straight and hold the foot position as long as possible. Do as frequently as possible for the first 3-10 days.

Pullback
  • Flex your foot back toward your body.
 

 

 

After 10 days

 

Technique:

 Hold each exercise 30seconds at a gentle stretch. Do not bounce!

Frequency: 6-10 repetitions/exercise, 5-7 days per week
 

Begin stretching regimen for gastrocnemius and soleus complex.

Warning: There should be no pain when doing this exercise. If there is stop!

     

 

shin splints treatment - stretching exercises

 

Technique:

 Hold each exercise 30seconds at a gentle stretch. Do not bounce!

Frequency: 3 sets 10 repetitions/exercise, 5-7 days per week progressing to 3 sets of 15
 

 

 

Begin eccentric exercise program 7-10 days after pain has subsided


Start with toes pointed, giving resistance through the thera-band, slowly allow your foot into dorsiflexion.

Warning: There should be no pain when doing this exercise. If there is stop!

   

 

 
Technique:

 Hold each exercise 20seconds at a gentle stretch. Do not bounce!

Frequency: 6-10 repetitions/exercise, 5-7 days per week
 

Perform a toe raise on a 4-6 inch box or step with both legs. Once on your toes, lift the uninvolved leg and lower yourself slowly into dorsiflexion (heel down, toe up).
 

Warning: There should be no pain when doing this exercise. If there is stop!

           

 

 

Shin splints treatment - strengthening exercises

 

Technique:

 Hold each exercise 30 seconds at a gentle stretch. Do not bounce!

Frequency: 3 repetitions/exercise, 5-7 days per week, and incorporate into warm up and cool down exercises.
 

Perform a toe raise on a 4-6 inch box or step with both legs. Once on your toes, lift the one leg and lower yourself slowly into dorsiflexion (heel down) with the other. Repeat on the other side

Warning: There should be no pain when doing this exercise. If there is stop!


 

           

 

Shin splints treatment - prevention

 

Remember that virtually shin splints occur at contact phase of gait (when the foot hits the ground) due to increased biomechanical stress at this point. No amount of exercising will influence what happens at the point of heel strike, mid-stance and toe off phases of gait. It is therefore vital to improve your biomechanics with orthotics designed for your chosen sport.

Golden rule- Don't ignore the problem, it won't go away! If you have been afflicted by this injury it is virtually certain that you will have another attack sooner rather than later.

The way we function biomechanically and the cause of shin splints is predominantly controlled by genetics, its hereditary (runs in the family). The way you function is set and cannot be cured. To help prevent shin splin, however is to control lower limb biomechanics by altering foot position during the contact phase of gait. This can only be done by wearing a good shoe (see our shoe guide) and with orthotics (foot beds). This is the cheapest and most cost effective way for any athlete to reduce the risks of injury from occurring and from helping to prevent re-injury. Overall costs for the average athlete will run into pennies per mile/hour of sport. Orthotics are designed to alter the biomechanics during the time the foot is on the ground. They are also used to provide increased shock absorbency working in harmony with the sport shoe worn.

Think you require treatment for your shin splints symptoms?

Visit our sports podiatry clinic pages for a clinic near you.

 

Shin splints treatment - returning to sporting activity

With shin splints, the goal of rehabilitation is to return you to your sport or activity as soon as is safely possible. If you return too soon you may worsen your injury, which could lead to permanent damage. Everyone recovers from injury at a different rate. Return to your activity is determined by how soon your knee recovers, not by how many days or weeks it has been since your injury occurred.

After suffering from shin splints, you may safely return to your sport or activity when, starting from the top of the list and progressing to the end, each of the following is true:

You have full range of motion in the injured leg compared to the uninjured leg.

You have full strength of the injured leg compared to the uninjured leg.

You can jog straight ahead without pain or limping.

You can sprint straight ahead without pain or limping.

You can do 45-degree cuts, first at half-speed, then at full-speed.

You can do 20-yard figures-of-eight, first at half-speed, then at full-speed.

You can do 90-degree cuts, first at half-speed, then at full-speed.

You can do 10-yard figures-of-eight, first at half-speed, then at full-speed.