Shin splints are very common. They're the cause of 13% of all running injuries. Runners might get them after ramping up their workout intensity, or changing the surface they run on -- like shifting from a dirt path to asphalt.
What's the Treatment for Shin Splints?Although shin splints may be caused by different problems, treatment is usually the same: Rest your body so the underlying issue heals. Here are some other things to try:
- Icing the shin to reduce pain and swelling. Do it for 20-30 minutes every three to four hours for two to three days, or until the pain is gone.
- Anti-inflammatory painkillers. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), like ibuprofen, naproxen, or aspirin, will help with pain and swelling. However, these drugs can have side effects, like an increased risk of bleeding and ulcers. They should be used only occasionally unless your doctor specifically says otherwise.
- Arch supports for your shoes. These orthotics -- which can be custom-made or bought off the shelf -- may help with flat feet.
- Range of motion exercises, if your doctor recommends them.
- Neoprene sleeve to support and warm the leg.
- Physical therapy to strengthen the muscles in your shins.