Shin splints (also know as medial tibial stress syndrome (MTSS)) feels like a sharp pain along the inner edge of the shinbone that may shoot up from your ankle to your kneecap. Shin splints are usually caused by repeated stress to the connective muscle tissue surrounding the shinbone. This is a common injury that affects athletes who engage in superfluous running, jumping and dancing. It is not considered a serious problem, but rather an inflammation of the muscle or other tissue at the front of the lower leg that results from repeated, minor trauma or irritation. It can be treated with home remedies that follow.
Stay away from inflammatory foods
Gluten, dairy, refined white sugar and preservatives are the four things that cause major inflammation in the body and will not help the situation.
Drink ginger tea
This will help to reduce inflammation and ginger is a natural pain reliever.
Calcium is a mineral that supports bone and muscle health, as well as circulation in the body.
Get sufficient Vitamin D
Vitamin D is essential for strong bones and muscles, as well as recovery.
When you are running take big breaths that fill your lungs and then exhale to ensure proper circulation to your entire body. Oxygen streaming to your legs will certify circulation compared to stress in that area.
Alkalize your body
When the body is alkalized inflammation, pain and swelling cannot exist in the body. The simplest way to alkalize the body is to drink lemon water, apple cider vinegar or a greens powder like Phresh Greens.
Eat leg-strengthening foods
From the indigenous standpoint, to eat what nature reflects in your body, focus on foods that represent strong healthy legs without pain, swelling or inflammation. This includes eating the following whole (not cut up or blended): carrots, turnips, celery, beets, burdock root, jicama, ginger, turmeric and cucumber. When you consume these foods imagine they are sending the nutrition to your legs and assisting in healing the shin splints.
Increase magnesium in your diet
Eat more raw cacao (chocolate), brazil nuts or consume magnesium supplements.
Don’t push through the pain
I’ve been training for Marathon Des Sables, and a couple weeks ago I started to experience pain in my left leg under the kneecap. Being an athletic child I knew this was shin splints. I tried to push through the pain a few times which I know is not a good idea. Let it fully heal before running again. Allow yourself to take a break from running for 7-14 days until it is completely repaired. Dr Axe says that recovery time between extreme workouts is crucial.
Take a rest from running and mix up the workouts so you are still getting the cardio intensity from swimming or cycling.
Invest time in stretching
Stretching will also help to reduce inflammation and encourage healing.
Ensure proper footwear
Correct running footwear will properly support your shins.
Avoid running on cement
Lower the impact on your shins by running on a track or grass.
Don’t run on hills
Running up and down hills will aggravate shin splints.
See a chiropractor
Make sure that your body is even and aligned so that you aren’t putting pressure on one side of your body. This can cause shin splints on one side of your body.
Use massage therapy
Get a leg massage where the massage therapist can focus on your lower legs to help relieve inflammation and drain fluid.
When in recovering and healing the body from inflammation sleeping up to 9 hours per night is sufficient and important. Women’s Rowing Coach Elizabeth Hughes says if we are training we should get at least nine hours of sleep per night so we can properly absorb our workouts.
Ice your legs
Use an ice pack or soak your legs in an ice bath to reduce inflammation and swelling.
Apply aloe vera to the shins
Aloe vera is a reparative for the muscles and body. It helps to reduce inflammation and rebuilds muscle tissue.
Use your mind actively
When you are running say affirmations to yourself including “I am balanced and aligned.” Best Selling Author Louise Hay believes that leg problems are due to fear of future, and not being able to carry things forward. She says to repeat the mantra “I move forward with confidence and joy, knowing that all is well in my future.”
Wear tight leg warmers or pants
This will hug the shins and keep them snug to permit less muscle movement. You could even tape it to compress the area even more.
Change Your Form
Dr Axe explains that “Proper form involves beginning with lifting the toes, rolling the arches upward (called inversion), striking the ground using the outside of the foot as much as possible, gently rolling the foot inward (called eversion) and then lifting the heel. You ideally want your heel to lift evenly without pushing too much on one side.”
Some of the ways people incorrectly run with poor form include:
• not rolling arches upward/having flat feet, which means stepping causes your arches to collapse
• having the heel strike the ground too abruptly without rolling it evenly
• overpronation of the foot, which means rolling inward and putting too much stress on the toes
• not lifting the toes, which can cause someone to trip often
If you are doing the things above but still experiencing shin splints, have a look at what you are missing from this list and apply those. However if your shin pain persists see a doctor to ensure you are not suffering from a stress fracture, a tiny chip or crack in the bone, as this could be a serious problem.