I have bad shin splints. I've got the good shoes and run on a soft platform. Is there a supplement or anything I can take to prevent them?

They are stress injuries to the muscle and tissue of the leg. These injuries happen to the front of leg and around the bone. It is an inflammation that occurs of the tendon and the surrounding tissue. Shin splints can also be called micro tears in the muscles surround the bone in the shin.

An increase in the intensity or the distance of the workout can cause shin splints. Therefore what causes shin splits when walking or running and who are normally affected by it? Shin splints usually occur in professional runners and aggressive walkers because of what is also known as repetitive stress injury or putting pressure on a weak muscle. When a shin splint occurs, you feel acute pain below the knee. A shin splint takes place on the tibia (also known as the shin bone) which is the bone in lower part of the leg. The pain starts as a mild pain, to slowly recede and come back with greater intensity towards the end of the exercise. If this pain is ignored, it can worsen and the athlete could really suffer. A shin splint can occur if you run on uneven or hard surfaces, starting exercise without allowing your body a proper warm up period or excessive uphill or downhill running especially in work out shoes. If you have flat feet and are running with arch support in your shoes, you are putting unnecessary pressure on the shin. If ignored damaged shin splints could also affect ankle muscles and the heel muscles. A diagnosis involves a careful examination of the muscle by certified professionals.

Sometimes athletes follow the run through it or take complete rest. Complete rest is not always an option and running through a weak muscle can often cause irreparable damage to the muscle. The basic treatment for shin splints is like treatment for any other soft tissue injury. Primary care involves resting the muscle, ice packs, compression and elevation of the muscle. Eventually physiotherapy is used to treat the injured muscle.

Running or walking longer than you usually do can cause shin splints. Preventing activities that would increase your chances of getting shin splints is the best way to treating shin splints. You can prevent shin splints from happening while running by wearing good footwear. Any exercise is redundant if it is done with the wrong shoes. It is important to keep that in mind to prevent shin splints. If any muscle is sore, remember to get it treated before you decide to go running. You should also get your foot measured for the correct shoe. A warm up is quite important before a run and you should not ignore the warm up before the run if you want to prevent the shin splint.

Do you know how to treat shin splints at home? You can get a companion or a friend to help you stretch the muscle that is bothering you. First you need to rest your muscle. Give it as many days as you think it will need, even up to a week. A combination of gentle, guided stretches and ice packs to relieve the soreness of the muscle would prove to be helpful. Once your injury heals, remember to take some steps to avoid repetitive injury. Run on soft surfaces, use the correct shoes, run the pre-injury distance and only gradually increase your speed and distance. You can also strengthen your calf muscles to prevent this wear and tear. You can strengthen them by doing exercises like walking on your heels, barefoot, around the house, flexing your toes upwards. Applying an ice pack on your shins is also a good method to avoid further inflammation. If you do not already have any, you should look into arch support for your shoes. Any pair of shoes that has gone for over 300 miles in running should be replaced with a new pair.

answered by G M

The most common contributing factors for a shin splint are improper shoes and tendonitis (pain in the shin bone). Check out these remedies at home:

- Stretch the calf muscles at the beginning and end of each run.
- A freeze pack for 15 minutes, with an elevated foot, proves helpful.
- Change in leg length is monitored.
- Inflammation or swelling is reduced by heating pads.
- Proper arch support is essential, in case of any inflammation, thereby resulting in tendon stress.
- A good running posture is vital. Slouching too much in the front puts pressure on the calf muscles.
- Placement of a heel lift in the shoes helps in preventing tendon stress.

answered by r k

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