Shin splints, or â€œtibial stress syndrome,â€ are a runnerâ€™s worst nightmare. Unfortunately, they’re also common among avid runners because of the repetitious nature of the sport.
The extreme and debilitating pain of shin splints can be felt on the front of the lower leg along the medial (inside) edge of the tibia, the larger of the two bones that make up the lower leg. Shin splints are usually classified as an overuse injury caused by the repetitive stress of running or jumping, which leads to inflammation of the connective tissue sheath surrounding the tibia.
Taking a break from exercise is the best way to cure an overuse injury, but most athletes are unwilling to sit idle, waiting for an injury to heal itself. Fortunately, you can easily treat shin splints at home. Just freeze water in small paper Dixie cups and give yourself an ice massage after exercise. Peel back the top of the paper cup so that you expose an inch or two of the ice. Rub it up and down your shins for about 20 minutes or until the entire ice-cup is melted. Just make sure you ice only after exercise, never before.
Give yourself a proper warm-up before exercising, including lower leg stretches, and you can help avoid shin splints in the first place.