Did you know that more than 30% of runners suffer from shin splints at some point? Today we’re going to look at some of the fastest ways to heal shin splints so that you can continue with your running. Shin splints can occur for different reasons; suddenly increased distance, hard or uneven surfaces, or unsuitable running shoes.
Shin splints can create pain in the lower leg above the ankles, which need several days to ease. Other common symptoms include swelling, redness, numbness, weakness, and muscle pain. Shin splints can also cause a hot shin, and the pain may spread to other parts of the body.
The fastest way to heal shin splints is to follow the RICE method, stretch, and improve muscle strength. If you continue to run, you will slow the process down, so it’s best to take some time out.
Typical Recovery Times.
The recovery time of shin splints varies a lot, depending on the severity and healing methods you take. Usually, shin splints take around three to four weeks to heal.
In severe cases of damage, the healing process could take as long as four months. If you find that the pains are still there after four to five weeks, then my advice is to book in for a medical assessment. As you can appreciate, the sooner you take the right course of action, the better.
The Fastest Way to Heal Shin Splints.
Once you are sure of the problem, give the following recovery methods below a try. It would also help if you avoided any further intense exercise during this time.
Many fitness enthusiasts are familiar with this method. Still, few have the patience to see it through as they want to get back out. The RICE method is often the first step of the process, as it helps bring the swelling down, which helps ease the pain.
- • ‘R’ stands for rest. Something that will help reduce the pressure and tension within the muscles
- • ‘I’ stands for ice. This will help reduce inflammation and redness. I would recommend icing the shins for around 15 minutes every two hours.
- • ‘C’ is for compression. This will again reduce tension and stress on the shins, hence quickening the recovery.
- • ‘E’ represents elevation. For this, elevate the leg above the heart level to reduce inflammation and boost healing.
2. Seated Shin Stretch:>
Seated Shin Stretch is an exercise meant to relieve the calve muscles and speed up the recovery.
For this, sit on a chair and lower one knee till it extends in front. The toe should also extend into the ground. Now, shift your weight forward with the toe until you feel a stretch in the shin muscles. Hold for around 20 seconds, rest, and then repeat five times.
Find time in the morning, afternoon, and evening to repeat the process until you fully recover.
3. Calf Raises:
This one is another exercise that will help get you to get back out sooner. The best time to try calf raises is once the swelling has gone down and the pain has turned to mild discomfort.
For this one, stand straight and push through the balls of the feet. Next, raise the heel till you are standing on the toes, hold that for five seconds, and then lower back to the floor.
Perform three sets of 25 raises, and usually, only once a day will be enough.
Further Ways to Help Recover from Shin Splints.
To reduce the risk of further foot problems arising, follow the tips below.
- • Compression sleeves might help ease the healing process further.
- • Continue with only low-impact activities, like short walks or swimming.
- • Use the most suitable shoes for you and your foot type, but also remember to change the pair every 400 miles.
- • Use supportive and shock-absorbing custom-made insoles or orthodontics.
- • Use foam rollers to improve flexibility and reduce muscle tension after each run. This only takes a couple of minutes, but it’s an effective way to stretch out the muscles and tendons.>
- • Avoid exercising on hard, slanted, and uneven terrains if you can.
- • Increase your distances or pace gradually to give your body and legs the right time to adjust.
- • Build calf muscle strength when at the gym, as most social runners often overlook this.
- • Give compression socks a try for natural muscle alignment.
Along with the methods and tips above, make sure you have the best running shoes for shin splints that suit you.
The right running shoes will give you the adequate support, shock absorption and help prevent other foot problems or further injury.