PHOTO CREDIT: Diana Swanevelder

Any runner who ever tried to increase mileage too soon will be familiar with the feeling of aching shins. “Shin splints” is only the layman’s term used to describe the dull, burning feeling experienced in the shin muscles. In medical terms it is referred to as tibial stress syndrome.

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This article is a follow-up on the previous article on shin pain. Here are some tips and exercises to relieve shin pain:

RICE regime:

  • R – Resting. Once shin pain starts, it is very important to take some time off running. This will decrease the inflammation and prevent complications such as stress fractures.
  • I – Ice. Applying ice for 10 minutes on the shin will help to decrease swelling and pain in order to improve healing.
  • C – Compression. Compression socks also decrease the swelling in the muscles and provide support to weak muscles while rehabilitation takes place.
  • E – Elevation. Limb elevation facilitates backflow of blood to the heart, in order to remove toxins from the injured area. Gravity increases pooling of blood in the legs when standing and therefore elevation is needed to improve circulation.

A. Stretch the calves for 30 seconds on each side, repeat 3 times.

B. Walk up and down, firstly on your heels and then on your toes.
C. Scrunch a towel with your toes.

D. Pick up marbles with your toes.

Complete rehabilitation needs to be done by a qualified physiotherapist, but these few valuable tips can be applied to control the initial pain and inflammation.

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