Shin Splints

Shin splints is a painful condition that is felt in the front, lower parts of the legs. Muscles, cord-like structures that connect muscles to bones (tendons), and the thin layer that covers the shinbone get irritated (inflamed). It can be caused by activities or exercises that are demanding. It may also be caused by sports with sudden starts and stops.

HOME CARE

Try the following to help your shin splints heal:

  • Rest.

  • Do not exercise as long or as intensly.

  • Stop the activity that causes the shin pain.

  • Take medicine as told by your doctor.

  • Ice, massage, stretch, and strengthen the shin area.

  • Get shoes with good arch and heel support. The shoe should cushion and support you as you walk or run.

  • Return to activity slowly or as told by your doctor.

  • Do not put weight on your shins when you start exercising again. Try cycling or swimming.

  • Stop running if you have pain.

  • Warm up before exercising.

  • Run on a flat and firm surface, if possible.

  • Change the intensity of your exercise slowly.

  • Increase your running distance slowly. If you run 5 miles normally, add no more than ½ mile at a time.

  • Change your athletic shoes every 6 months, or every 350 to 450 miles.

GET HELP RIGHT AWAY IF:

  • You have very bad pain.

  • You have trouble walking.

  • Your problems get worse even with treatment.

  • Your pain spreads, is worse, or changes over time.

MAKE SURE YOU:

  • Understand these instructions.

  • Will watch your condition.

  • Will get help right away if you are not doing well or get worse.