Perhaps you're in the middle of your morning run and notice that the last few days, you have had a dull ache in the front part of your lower leg. Or perhaps you're doing your favorite gym or home work out and begin noticing pain in the front of your legs, or at the end of a long day on your feet at work, you feel:
• Pain on either side of the shin bone.
• Muscle pain in the front and back.
• Pain along the inner part of the lower leg.
• Tenderness or soreness along the inner part of the lower leg.
• Notice that your lower leg is slightly swollen.
• Increasing numbness and weakness in your feet.
If any of these sound familiar or you're nodding your head, then you may have shin splints.
What Are Shin Splints?
The term 'shin splits' refers to pain along the shin bone (tibia.) The tibia is a large bone located along the front of your lower leg, and shin splints are a common ailment found in runners, dancers, the military, and those who do high-impact activities. The official name for shin splints is Tibial Stress Syndrome in the medical field. Athletes of all levels can experience shin splints if they've recently intensified or changed training routines. The increase in activity often overworks the muscles, tendons, and bone tissue.
Even if you aren't an athlete, you can still experience shin splints.
• Shin splints are often found in people who have flat feet or stiff arches.
• If you suffer from naturally weak calf muscles, you are more likely to develop shin splints. The shinbone bears your weight rather than the muscles that align the front side of the leg's lower part. When your calve muscles are weak, it puts stress on the shinbone, which is not designed to absorb shock.
Shin Splint Prevention Tips
One of the very best ways to prevent shin splints is to make sure you warm up and stretch correctly before engaging in any physical activity. This principle applies to everyone, whether you're a professional athlete, just beginning to exercise, or about to go to work to a physically intensive job. The human body requires blood to circulate to muscles before any strenuous activity, and a proper warm-up will help loosen muscles and tendons.
If you are currently experiencing shin splints, here are some tips for treating and receiving relief:
• Ice. You can ice your shins for up to 20 minutes at a time. Never apply ice directly to your skin. Use a cloth to wrap around the ice and apply.
• Custom-made insoles, inserts, or shoes. Custom-made insoles inserts of shoes will pad your footsteps and help absorb the shock that often causes shin splints while you recover.
Three straightforward stretches that can help with shin splints are:
1. Gastrocnemius Calf Stretch
• Stand, facing a wall. Place hands flat on the wall.
• Place one leg behind you.
• Lean forward.
• Keep your back leg as straight as possible and ensure both heels lay flat on the floor.
• Hold for 30 seconds.
• Repeat on the other leg.
2. Seated Ankle Dorsiflexion and Calf Stretch
• Lay on the floor or a flat surface.
• Loop a large rope, towel, or exercise band around the top of one foot. With the tool positioned around the ball of your foot, begin to pull back gently.
• Hold the tool looped around foot taut for 10 seconds.
• Point your toes toward the floor and hold for another 10 seconds to help target the ankle joint.
• Repeat with other foot.
3. Achilles Tendon Stretch
• Stand with the balls of your feet on the edge of your chosen tool, such as a stair, a street curb, a step stool, or a pile of books against a wall.
• Slowly hang one heel off until you begin to feel a stretch in the back of your leg and ankle.
• Hold the position for 30 seconds.
• Repeat two or three times for each leg.
Can Compression Socks Help With Shin Splints?
Along with proper warm-ups and stretches, wearing appropriate footwear can also help prevent or ease the symptoms of shin splints. How do compression socks help relieve shin splints?
1. Maximize blood flow.
Compression socks or stockings apply gentle pressure to your feet and ankles, with pressure easing as it moves up your calves. This pressure helps promote healthier blood circulation to your shins and move blood back up to your heart. Enhanced blood flow is vital for healing as it supplies the needed nutrients to the area and keeps muscles fueled.
2. Relieve Pain
Since compression socks target the injury site, reducing inflammation can also help relieve shin splint pain. As they also increase blood flow, the compression from compression socks assists your body in removing lactic acid, which stimulates muscle soreness, which in turn can help relieve muscular pain.
3. Performance Boosting
Once your shin splints are healed, wearing compression socks not only helps to prevent them but can boost your performance as well. Thanks to increased blood flow, your movements can become more efficient and reduce foot and leg fatigue.
4. Fight Swelling and Stiffness
By compressing the area where shin splints occur, compression socks can reduce the possibility of painful swelling and stiffness. This is especially great if you've recently suffered from shin splints and want to prevent swelling from happening.
5. Help Speed up Recovery and Reduce Risk of Injury
Given the above benefits, increased blood flow, swelling reduction, and reduced pain, compression sock benefits can help speed up the recovery time of shin splints.
There are two kinds of compression socks that work for treating shin splints, compression socks or compression sleeves. Compression sleeves are a fantastic choice if you prefer your socks but need compression for your shins. For those who may be experiencing foot pain along with shin splints, compression socks will support your entire foot and calves. We have both kinds of compression garments available to help in a wild array of patterns and colors, traditional and nontraditional alike.
If you suffer from shin splints, it's time to get the relief you need with Crazy compression! Compression socks can help!