How to heal shin splints

Sports Injury Treatment

When people first begin to return to exercise after a long period of inactivity, overuse injuries are one of the most common reasons people seek sports injury treatment. Shin splints are an overuse injury that are more likely in sports that require lots of running on hard surfaces such as running, basketball or tennis. Whatcom Physical Therapy shares some useful sports injury treatments that can help heal your shin splints.

What are shin splints?

Unlike acute injuries where the body experiences sudden trauma, shin splints are a gradual injury that can get worse over time from overuse. Microscopic tears in the muscles, tendon and bone can occur in the lower leg and cause pain and discomfort.

Shin splints occur when there is a sudden increase in the frequency and intensity of exercise. People who exercise too much when starting a new fitness program are at risk for shin splints. However, seasoned athletes who increase their exercise level suddenly can also develop this painful condition.

How can I treat shin splints myself?

Fortunately, most minor cases of shin splints do not need sports injury treatment from a medical professional. Because shin splints are an overuse injury, the best treatment is to rest and let your body heal the damage to the tissues in your shin. Other common methods to heal shin splints include:

  • Taking over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication (NSAIDs)
  • Using ice packs to reduce inflammation
  • Adding an orthotic insole to your shoe to provide extra support

If your shin splints do not improve or get worse after treating them yourself, seek medical help for your condition.

Using physical therapy for shin splints

Physical therapists can provide several effective sports injury treatment techniques to help your shin splints. Massage therapy can help ease tension and reduce inflammation in the area. TENS unit stimulation can increase blood flow to the area to help the body heal. Strengthening the muscles in the leg can help make your body less susceptible to the microtears that can cause shin splints.

Whatcom Physical Therapy is dedicated to helping patients become their best selves. If a sports injury is causing pain and you are seeking treatment options, contact us today to set up your initial appointment.