Getting into a spring running routine takes time and effort, especially if you switched to indoor running or took time off over the winter. Your feet need time to adjust to outdoor surfaces again. Even if you’re changing up your routine—adding anything new, or increasing the intensity—your feet still need an adjustment period. Starting something new is one way runners end up with shin splints, which can sideline you for a while. Aching shins don’t have to mean you’re out for the season, though. There are many treatment options for shin splints that can get you right back into your spring running routine without pain.
Shin splints are a common running injury that involve painful inflammation in the tissues along the front of the leg. They develop under stress and with repetitive hard impacts, which is why they are so often seen in runners. The pain can start mild, but it often progresses to the point that it becomes difficult, or even impossible, to continue running. However, conservative treatment is usually very successful for eliminating the issue. Here are a few top treatment options for shin splints:
Rest – Take time off from running. Overwork and hard impacts caused the problem, so give yourself a break to heal.
Ice – Apply ice periodically, particularly when it hurts. This decreases inflammation and swelling in the affected tissues.
Stretch and Strengthen – Stretch your lower limbs and build up strength with low-impact exercises. This will help you avoid overuse and prepare your lower limbs for running again.
Change Your Shoes – You might just need new shoes to improve your biomechanics. Make sure your footwear isn’t worn out and fits correctly, with the kind of support you need.
Warm Up and Condition – Start any changes to your running routine slowly to condition your feet, and don’t skimp on your pre-run warm-up.
It will take time to truly recover from shin splints. Investing in your foot care now, though, will help you get back and stay on track with your spring running routine. Don’t take your shins for granted; get help as soon as you feel the pain. Contact Dr. Darren Silvester at Next Step Foot & Ankle Clinic in Pleasanton, TX, for help treating stubborn pain. Contact us online or call (830) 569-3338 for more information.