Spring is here, which means it's track season and also when one of the most common running injuries appears - shin splints.
Also known as “medial tibial stress syndrome”, shin splints are caused by multiple, tiny tears in the tibia muscles right where they attach to the shin bone, or tibia.With tearing comes pain and inflammation in both the muscle and the outside lining of the bone known as the periosteum.The pain of shin splints are felt along the inner edge of the tibia (shin) bone.
Shin splints are one of the most common running-related injuries and commonly show up in a person who is getting back into running.
What Causes Them?
Shin splints occur when the muscles in the lower leg are overworked and not allowed enough time to rest. This can come from going from being sedentary to running a lot (such as the start of track season), increased running intensity and distance, running longer distances, or increased hill work.
Speaking of getting back into running, a lot of people wind up with shin splints when they get into running, without wearing the proper running shoes - this is why its important to invest in the proper gear, so the body is protected!
What Do They Feel Like?
Shin splints are very tender to the touch.The pain is often sharp and constant with walking or running.It’s felt very specifically at what’s referred to as the medial border of the tibia - so along the part of the shinbone that is closest to the middle of the leg.
How To Heal Shin splints
Standard medical advice is to use ice and ibuprofen.We say this is the worst thing you can do! Ibuprofen comes with several side effects and should really only be used for the most extreme forms of pain and inflammation.
Ice can just damage the tissue (shin splints are painful micro tears of muscle from the bone) and actually prolong tissue healing.
Here’s how we take care of shin splints:
1. Rest. Muscle tears (like those in shin splints) can’t heal when the muscles are still being used extensively.Continuing to run with shin splints will cause them to last indefinitely, whereas taking a break now will allow them to heal in a few weeks. Halting running doesn’t mean getting out of shape - swimming (using a pull buoy), cycling and strength training will all keep your fitness levels up.
2.Systemic Enzymes are naturally occurring compounds in the body that help break down pain-generating chemicals made in response to injury and tissue damage. They also speed healing by improving oxygen and nutrient delivery to damaged areas.
3. Natural Anti-Inflammatory botanical medicines like Devil’s claw, Ginger root extract, Quercetin, Boswellia and Turmeric are great at limiting inflammation without the side effects that over the counter medications like ibuprofen have.Cell Rescue formula contains a powerful combination that contains several of the strongest natural anti-inflammatories known.
4. For especially painful shin splints, we use curcumin - an extract of the herb turmeric that has proven anti-inflammatory and pain relieving effects. The curcumin in Curcumin Relief has a much higher absorbability than does standard turmeric root.
There you have it - shin splints require time off from running in order to heal.Using natural anti-inflammatories, systemic enzymes and curcumin will speed healing without the side effects and slowed healing from using ice and ibuprofen.