There are loads of ways to get fit and healthy, but one of the easiest and most accessible is to get some running shoes on and go for a nice long jog. Loads of folks started doing this last year when the first lockdowns began rolling out, seeing as how many gyms and exercise classes had to take a backseat. For many, running quickly turned into a passion.
There is one slight problem though… your shins get really sore and painful after each run. While they may be fine a few days after, the pain has gotten progressively worse the more often you run. As it happens, you most likely have shin splints, which is a problem caused by inflammation of the connective tissues and muscles attached to the shinbone. This is from the extra stress put on your shins by running.
It’s a real annoyance, but how do you deal with it? Here are a few simple suggestions to help you manage your shin splints:
Ice your shins after running
If you experience pain straight after running, the best thing to do is to ice your shins. You can use ice packs for this, but a bag of frozen peas will also do the trick. The ice packs soothe the shins and reduce any inflammation or swelling. Do this as often as required in the following days until the pain subsides.
Try topical pain relievers
Alongside the icing tactic, you can apply topical painkillers to your shins. These usually come in the form of creams or gels, and they can include various natural ingredients, like CBD oil. The whole point of topical pain relievers is that they target the site of your pain, so they should kick in faster and provide a more focused pain relief in the affected area. Topical treatments are much safer to use with frequency than a pain reliever you might take orally. A good strategy would be to apply your topical cream or gel after icing your shins to give extra pain relief until it’s time to ice them again.
Get better footwear
Typically, shin splints are caused by a combination of poor footwear or flat feet. In essence, your feet don’t have the support required to absorb the shocks you make when running. So, all the impact goes through the foot and into the lower leg, hence your shins are put under more stress. By buying a pair of more supportive shoes – or insoles for those of you with flat feet – you restore the supportiveness to your feet, making the impact less demanding on your poor shins.
Following these simple steps will help you to ease your shin splints. However, you also need to rest your body so the shins can recover. Don’t rush yourself back into running – take a few days or weeks off until the pain has completely gone. Then, you can start running again with more supportive footwear to prevent future shin splint problems. Good luck!