Awhile ago we talked about a common sports injury known as sprains. We touched on what happens to your body when you sprain something, and good ways to recover from the injury. Today, I want to take a look at another common sports injury, shin splints.
Shin Splints are best known as pain in the front of your legs, around the shin area. The pain that an athlete may experience ranges from sharp to dull, or even aching pains, and it tends to feel better with rest, and get worse with exercise. According to Medline Plus, the reason for this, is that Shin Splints are a overuse injury. You typically get shin splints from overloading lower leg muscles. This is why runners, dancers, and soccer players often have issues with shin splints, as both require massive amounts of leg use. On another note, shin splints can be caused by an excess of physical activity on very hard surfaces as well, which puts some basketball players at risk too.
So what is happening in your body when you have shin splints? According to Medline, the pain comes from the inflammation of your muscles, tendons, and bone tissues around the shin. The constant pounding of excessive amounts of force causes the muscles to swell , which increases pressure against the bone. This is what leads to the pain and inflammation according to Healthline. If this swelling and inflammation gets too bad, it can lead to severe enough pain that the patient will probably have to stop what they are doing, and rest.
As usual with many injuries, avoiding the issue to begin with is better than trying to treat it. There are quite a few steps that can be taken to help prevent shin splints. For starters, make sure to not overdo an exercise routine, especially if finishing recovery from shin splints or another athletic injury. Overdoing it can lead to reinjury, noticeably so with injuries that revolve around overuse. Another suggestion is utilizing surfaces and training practices that avoid lots of heavy running and leg work on hard surfaces. Swimming is a great way to exercise without damaging your shins, and wearing proper shoes does a lot to mitigate damage to the legs. Finally, making sure to use proper cryotherapy techniques after exercise will help keep your muscles from swelling up in the first place. Compression also works to keep the swelling down, so a good rest period with cryo-compression is great for helping to keep your body injury free!
If you do end up getting shin splints, there are several ways to recover from the injury. As with most swelling and inflammation problems, it is suggested to take anti inflammatory medicines. Another suggestion is to do some light physical therapy that helps that part of the body (such as the strange looking foam rollers many athletes use on their legs!) However, the three biggest tools to use for shin splints, is a combination of cryotherapy, compression, and rest.
Cryotherapy and compression are common treatments for swelling and inflammation, and do the job for shin splint patients as well. Utilizing a good cryo-compression routine with lots of rest should help you avoid needing as many pain killers and anti-inflammatories, as well as help you recover faster. As usual, proper cryotherapy technique requires the patient to ice several times a day for a twenty minute period with off time in between to let the leg warm back up a bit. With today’s common cryotherapy techniques, this could take an hour or two out of your day, just to sit and apply ice. However, with Coolcorp Inc’s on-the-go cryo-compression ice packs, you can take care of your injury, and still be able to go through your daily routines. If you are struggling with shin splints, or another athletic injury, take a look here at our cryo-compression solutions that will help get you back on your feet!