What Are Shin Splints and What Causes Them?

Shin splints can happen to anyone who amplifies their workout routine. Increased activity exerts more stress on the lower leg, especially the shinbone. This condition tends to strike runners, athletes, and dancers.

The muscles in your feet and legs work together to create a seamless gait pattern. Lack of foot control stemming from improper footwear and poor form can lead to shin splints.

People with flat feet have an increased risk of developing shin splints too. Therefore, flat feet can disrupt this process and compromise your shinbones. 

At REACH Rehab + Chiropractic Performance Center, our holistic chiropractor team offers comprehensive treatment for shin splints. You will recover faster when working with a chiropractor who understands your needs and develops a personalized treatment plan for you. Our team will also help you prevent this painful condition from recurring. 

How Can You Tell If You Have Shin Splints and What Are the Symptoms?

Shin splints present as soreness and pain on the front and sides of your shinbone. You may also experience minor swelling around your shin and ankles. Stopping the exercise altogether may allow the pain to subside for the time being. 

However, shin splints will become more painful with exercise. Shin splints cause a sharp, dull pain in the shin when walking or running. While you may need to cut back on running and intense strength training, you can perform specific exercises to improve your shin splints pain. 

Best Exercises for Shin Splints

Walking and running require work from the muscles in your feet and legs. Fortunately, simple daily exercises can rebuild these muscles’ strength and prevent shin splints. We recommend completing these exercises barefoot to engage every muscle fully. 

The following exercise focuses on slowing down your gait pattern for balance and control. Begin with your foot flat on the ground, then raise your toes so all your weight shifts to your heel.

Next, shift the weight to the side of your heel as you slowly lift the heel from the floor. Keep lifting yourself until you’re standing on your tiptoes.  

From your tiptoes, slowly lower yourself to the ground while shifting your weight to the outside of your foot. Keep lowering yourself until you reach the foot flat position. Repeat this cycle 5 to 10 times in several sets as an at-home treatment for shin splints. 

Recovering from Your Shin Splints

Recovering from shin splints should be a marathon, not a sprint. Strengthening the surrounding muscles will take time, practice, and patience. Utilizing these exercises every day for a few weeks will help you recover from your shin splints. 

We recommend you aim for several sets of this exercise daily and increase the amount as you become more comfortable. Once you become familiar with the movements, you can add weight to increase your strength in these muscles. 

Reducing your sport or activity level while completing these exercises will aid your recovery. As you regain strength over time, you can slowly rebuild your activity level. Ideally, as we explain in the next section, we would recommend preventing shin splints in the first place to avoid cutting out exercise routines. 

How Can You Prevent Shin Splints from Happening?

Shin splints can be painful, preventing us from reaching our desired fitness goals. Preventing shin splints from occurring altogether provides you with the best pathway to successfully improving your fitness. You can take several measures to ensure you avoid shin splints while training.

Inappropriate shoes can negatively impact your form even if you perform the exercises correctly. Ensure your shoes fit perfectly and have adequate arch support to avoid shin splints and other training injuries. In addition, try switching up your strength training with low-impact activities such as swimming, biking, and walking. 

Visit REACH Rehab If Your Shin Splints Don't Improve

For an expert chiropractor in Plymouth, MI, contact REACH Rehab today. Whether you train professionally or like to run for fun, shin splints can happen to anyone. Our expert staff will provide natural pain relief through treatment while teaching you techniques to rebuild your strength. 

To schedule treatment for shin splints, contact us at (734) 530-9134 or book your appointment online here