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Top 7 Tips To Treat And Prevent Shinsplints
By Raymond Lee
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Do not let their name fool you. Shinsplints are not therapeutic devices for aching lower legs. On the contrary, they inflict pain rather than relieving it. When you have shinsplints, the tissues that surround muscles in the shin region become irritated, producing razor-sharp pain midway down the outside of the tibia, or shinbone. Invariably, shinsplints are the result of overuse. They are quite common among runners, whose shins take a pounding from workouts on hard surfaces. But you can just as easily get them from a less jarring activity such as dancing or even walking, especially when you do it longer or harder than your muscles are accustomed to. Here are some tips that you can consider to adopt to relieve the pain fast.
- Add Some Support
You may develop shinsplints if you overpronate (meaning you walk on the inner margins of your feet) or if you have fallen arches. If that is the case, over-the-counter shoe inserts can help.
- Try Massage
Massage can increase blood flow to the painful area, which facilitates healing. The form that is best for shinsplints is called cross-friction massage. It can be painful, though, so it is best to have it done by a physical therapist or massage therapist.
- Try Ice
Ice is a good therapy for the first few days that you have pain. It is recommended to use this treatment. Fill a paper cup with water and freeze it. Then peel back the top inch or so of the cup to expose the ice. Rub the ice on the painful site for 15 minutes. Do this twice a day.
- Make It Hot
After the third day, switch from ice to heat. Apply moist heat Ė a bath, a shower, or a moist heating pad will do for 15 minutes once or twice a day. If you opt for a heating pad, first rub vinegar on your sore shin and then cover the area with plastic. Then place the heating pad over top.
- Get Up And Running Gradually
Once the pain subsides, you will feel that you can resume your normal level of activity. But take it slow at first. If you are used to running a certain number of miles, for example, start at about two-thirds the distance. If you donít notice any symptoms, then continue to add mileage over the course of two weeks.
While you do not want to do anything to aggravate your shinsplints, that does not mean that you should become a couch potato. A stationary bicycle provides a good alternative workout. Start with 5 to 10 minute sessions, two or three times a day, working up to 20 minute sessions. Be sure the cycle is set at maximum tension.
- Build Your Best Defense
Strengthening the lower leg muscles is the best way to prevent shinsplints from happening again. It is recommended to this method. Stand with both knees straight, holding on to a table or a chair for support. Rise up on your toes and hold for 5 seconds, then lower your heels to the floor. Start with 10 repetitions and gradually work up to 30. Do the exercise two or three times a day.
Raymond Lee is one of the foremost experts in the health and fitness industry and is the Founder of Bodyfixes Group specializing in body health, muscle development and dieting. He is currently the author of the latest edition of "Neck Exercises and Workouts." Visit http://www.bodyfixes.com for more information.
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Article Submitted On: November 18, 2007