How to Heal Shin Splints Quickly
Stretching your leg muscles before strenuous activity can help to avoid shin splints, but even the most staunch stretcher may fall victim to the condition. In very severe cases, surgery may be necessary to correct the tissue damage around the lower leg bone. The majority of the time, however, shin splints will go away on their own. Because it can take up to six weeks for a shin splint to heal, you should not rush the healing process.
The most important thing a healing shin splint needs is time. Rest your injured leg for a few days immediately after the injury occurs to prevent causing additional damage to your tissue. Keep your injured leg elevated to reduce swelling. When you resume physical activity, make your exercise less intense for a few weeks until the condition goes away. For instance, decrease the distance you run or the weight you lift. You may even consider switching to a less intense physical activity with less impact, such as bicycling or swimming. If you feel the same pain at any time after resuming exercise, stop immediately and give yourself more time to recover.
- The most important thing a healing shin splint needs is time.
- If you feel the same pain at any time after resuming exercise, stop immediately and give yourself more time to recover.
How to Treat Shin Splints
Apply ice to the injured tendon immediately and for a few days after the injury occurs. Ice will decrease inflammation, reduce pain and shorten the healing time associated with your shin splint. For ice massages, large ice cubes work best, but a cube from a standard ice cube tray works as well. Rub the ice cube in small circles around the area of the injury while applying pressure. It is not necessary to place the ice cube in anything, but if you find the cold sensation painful, you may wrap the cube in a cloth or towel. Continue to massage the ice cube into the injury for five to ten minutes at a time, three to four times daily for two to three days.
- Apply ice to the injured tendon immediately and for a few days after the injury occurs.
- It is not necessary to place the ice cube in anything, but if you find the cold sensation painful, you may wrap the cube in a cloth or towel.
After the first three days, stop applying ice to your shin splint and begin applying heat. A hot pack is ideal, but you could also microwave a damp towel. Take care not to make the hot pack too warm or you may burn your skin. Keep the heat on your leg for about 20 minutes to relax the tissue, and then deeply massage your leg. Finish the routine with light stretching. Do not push your tendons beyond the point that they begin to hurt--you may not have as much flexibility in your leg as you had before your injury. Stretch your Achilles tendon by putting your toe against a hard surface and slowly pushing your heel down until your tendon feels stretched. Do not force or bounce your heel as this may further damage your tissue.
- After the first three days, stop applying ice to your shin splint and begin applying heat.
- Stretch your Achilles tendon by putting your toe against a hard surface and slowly pushing your heel down until your tendon feels stretched.
How to Care for a Bruised Knee
Your shin splints will heal faster if you provide support to your legs and decrease the amount of stress your tissue must experience. Individuals with flat feet or overly pronounced arches benefit from shoe inserts specific to their condition. This additional support in the foot decreases stress on the shins. Additionally, wrap the injured area with an elastic compression bandage. The bandage should feel snug but not be tight enough to cut off circulation.
- Your shin splints will heal faster if you provide support to your legs and decrease the amount of stress your tissue must experience.
How to Treat Shin Splints
How to Care for a Bruised Knee
How to Wrap Achilles Tendon
Can You Cycle with a Tibia Stress Fracture
Stretching Exercises for ACL Injuries
How to Relieve Sciatic Pain in the Pelvic & Hip Joints
Shin Stretches for Runners
How to Treat a Deep Bone Bruise of the Knee
How to Heal a Sciatic Nerve
Knee Pain in the Medial Collateral Ligament When Running
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Brian Richards is an attorney whose work has appeared in law and philosophy journals and online in legal blogs and article repositories. He has been a writer since 2008. He holds a Bachelor of Science in psychology from University of California, San Diego and a Juris Doctor from Lewis and Clark School of Law.