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Understanding and Treating Shin Splints in Runners: Tips from MC Sports Massage and Physiotherapy

Updated: Jun 8, 2023

Introduction: As a passionate runner in Warwick and Leamington Spa, you understand the challenges of shin splints all too well. At MC Sports Massage and Physiotherapy, we specialise in sports therapy and physiotherapy, and we're here to provide you with valuable insights into the causes, symptoms, prevention, and treatment of shin splints. Our experienced team is dedicated to keeping you running strong and injury-free in the vibrant running community of Warwick and Leamington Spa.

What are Shin Splints in Runners? Shin splints, also known as medial tibial stress syndrome, are a common injury among runners. If you're experiencing that nagging pain along the shinbone (tibia), you're not alone. Our sports massage and physiotherapy team in Warwick and Leamington Spa are here to guide you through this condition.

Causes of Shin Splints: Shin splints typically occur due to a combination of factors, including:

  1. Overuse and Increased Intensity: Rapidly increasing the duration, frequency, or intensity of your running sessions can strain the muscles, tendons, and bones in your lower legs.

  2. Poor Biomechanics: Issues such as overpronation (inward rolling of the feet) or high arches can lead to excessive stress on the shins during running.

  3. Insufficient Warm-up and Stretching: Failing to adequately warm up and stretch before a run can make your muscles more prone to injury.

  4. Inadequate Footwear: Wearing worn-out or improper running shoes that lack proper support and cushioning can contribute to shin splints.

Understanding the causes of shin splints is crucial for prevention and treatment. As runners, you're susceptible to factors such as overuse and increased intensity, poor biomechanics, insufficient warm-up and stretching, and inadequate footwear. Our team at MC Sports Massage and Physiotherapy can provide personalised guidance and assessments to address these contributing factors in your training routine.

Signs and Symptoms of Shin Splints:

The most common symptoms of shin splints include:

  1. Pain along the inner edge of the shinbone, which may be dull and achy or sharp and intense.

  2. Tenderness and soreness in the affected area, especially during or after running.

  3. Swelling and inflammation along the shinbone.

  4. Discomfort that subsides with rest but returns upon resuming activity.

Recognising the signs and symptoms of shin splints is vital for early intervention. The most common indicators include pain along the inner edge of the shinbone, tenderness, swelling, and discomfort that subsides with rest but returns upon resuming activity. If you're experiencing any of these symptoms, don't hesitate to reach out to our sports massage and physiotherapy in Warwick and Leamington Spa.

Prevention Strategies for Runners:

To reduce the risk of developing shin splints, consider the following preventive measures:

  1. Gradual Training Progression: Gradually increase the duration, frequency, and intensity of your runs to allow your muscles and bones to adapt to the stress.

  2. Proper Footwear: Invest in well-fitting running shoes that provide adequate support, cushioning, and stability for your foot type.

  3. Cross-Train and Strengthen: Incorporate cross-training activities, such as swimming or cycling, into your routine to minimize the repetitive impact on your shins. Additionally, strengthen the muscles in your lower legs through targeted exercises.

  4. Warm-up and Cool-down: Prioritise a proper warm-up routine, including dynamic stretches, to prepare your muscles for the workout. Similarly, cool down afterward and stretch to promote muscle recovery.

Preventing shin splints is key to maintaining a consistent running routine. Our team in Warwick and Leamington Spa recommend gradual training progression, proper footwear selection, cross-training and strengthening exercises, as well as warm-up and cool-down routines tailored to your specific needs. Implementing these strategies will help keep shin splints at bay and enhance your overall performance.

Effective Treatment Options for Shin Splints:

If you're already experiencing shin splints, here are some treatment options to consider:

  1. Rest and Ice: Take a break from running or activities that exacerbate the pain, and apply ice packs to the affected area for 15-20 minutes several times a day to reduce inflammation.

  2. Compression and Elevation: Wearing compression sleeves or bandages can help reduce swelling, while elevating your legs can promote blood circulation and aid in recovery.

  3. Therapists: Seek guidance from a qualified sports therapist or physiotherapist who can assess your condition, provide targeted exercises, and assist with the rehabilitation process.

  4. Modified Training: Gradually return to running by reducing the intensity and duration of your workouts, and gradually increase them over time as your shins heal.

If shin splints do occur, it's essential to seek appropriate treatment. At MC Sports Massage and Physiotherapy, we offer a range of effective treatment options in Warwick and Leamington Spa. Our dedicated team will work closely with you to develop a tailored treatment plan for a speedy recovery.

Conclusion: Shin splints can be a frustrating setback for runners, but with the right knowledge and proactive measures, you can effectively prevent and treat this condition. By implementing proper training techniques, maintaining good biomechanics, and seeking appropriate treatment when needed, you can keep shin splints at bay and continue to pursue your running goals with confidence.

Remember, if you're experiencing persistent or severe pain, it's always best to consult a healthcare professional for a proper diagnosis and personalised treatment plan.

Don't let shin splints hinder your running aspirations. With the expert guidance and support of our sports massage and physiotherapy specialists in Warwick and Leamington Spa, you can overcome this common injury and get back on track to achieving your running goals. Contact MC Sports and Physiotherapy today to schedule a consultation and take the first step towards a pain-free and fulfilling running experience.

To book an appointment please visit the link below:

Common Running Injuries
Marathon Runners


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