One of the potential roadblocks to getting fit can be injuries that occur during exercise, often due to overuse or poor stretching. Many people are subject to painful shin splints when they take up jogging or another sport. Shin splints are a type of leg pain that runs along your shin bone. The pain is caused by inflammation of the tendons, muscles, and tissues that cover the bone. Shin splints are usually caused by vigorous or repetitive activities or exercises. People who run, play soccer, or tennis are the most likely to develop shin splints.
Once you have shin splints the best way to treat them is to rest your legs and allow them to heal. Ice packs, regular stretching exercises, and over-the-counter NSAIDS can also help. It may take several days for the pain to subside.
To prevent shin splints, it is important to stretch every time you exercise. Here are two stretches and exercises that can help prevent leg pain caused by shin splints:
- Stand on a step with your heels half off of the edge. Bend your knees slightly and allow your heels to drop below the level of the step. Then, go on tiptoe, lifting your heels as high as possible. Repeat ten times, slowly.
- Sit on a chair with one leg extended straight in front of you. Flex your foot toward your body and hold for several seconds. Then, point your toe and hold that pose. Repeat ten times for each foot, slowly and deliberately.
If the pain from shin splints does not improve on its own or with the exercises listed above within a few days, or if you develop them repeatedly, seek the advice of a podiatrist. At Foot, Ankle & Leg Vein Center in Boca Raton, our foot specialists can help you determine if you have an underlying problem such as a stress fracture or other condition.