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Can You Get Shin Splints From Walking

by Kristin Beck
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Can You Get Shin Splints From Walking

Can You Get Shin Splints From Walking

“Shin splints are one of those strange pains that seem to affect some people more than others. I’ve had them myself several times, but only after doing something like starting a workout routine (running) or a dance class (ballet). For me, it’s usually pretty painful for about an hour or two at most, then it goes away until the next time. People who walk around barefoot get shin splints too — it just depends on how much pressure is put on your shins while you walk.
The good news is that there aren’t any hard-and-fast rules for getting shin splints. It could be due to overtraining, not warming up properly, wearing ill-fitting shoes, or even carrying heavy loads on long walks. The bad news is that if you’re unlucky enough to experience this, there isn’t really anything you can do except treat it as best you can and wait it out. Shin splint remedies include rest (which can mean sitting down), icing, compression stockings, elevation techniques, anti-inflammatory medications, physical therapy, massage, stretching exercises, and surgery.
As far as prevention goes, the key is to take care of yourself. If you know you’re going to go for a run, make sure your shoes fit well. Wear layers so that you can adjust the temperature between indoors and outdoors. And keep hydrated by drinking water throughout your exercise period.
Now let’s say you already developed shin splints. What happens? Read on!
Treating Shin Splints
If you suffer from shin splints, you probably know that they hurt. But did you ever think that they might cause problems later on? Shin splints may actually lead to stress fractures. This means that you don’t want to just give up and quit exercising altogether; instead, see a doctor to determine whether or not you need additional treatment. In particular, you should consult a physician if you develop repeated bouts of shin splints. Stress fracture recovery takes anywhere from 6 weeks to 2 months depending upon severity.
In fact, since we’re talking about shin splints, you’ll often hear people talk about “”Achilles tendonitis”” which is basically a shortened Achilles tendon. When this happens, it causes inflammation and swelling, which leads to shin splints. The problem here is that the Achilles tendon attaches right below the ankle bone, meaning that it has to support the entire weight of your body. So when it gets inflamed, it doesn’t work as efficiently, leading to poor posture and other issues. There’s a quick fix for this, though: just lengthen the tendon using a special brace called a heel cord. It’s used by athletes for years, but anyone can use it to help their own situation. Just check with your local sports medicine specialist to find out what kind of brace would work best with your specific injury.
Another consideration is that because these injuries occur mostly near joints, they tend to flare up again when you try to move around. That’s why ice and heat treatments are important. Ice will reduce swelling and stiffness, and heat can increase blood flow to affected areas. Both treatments are recommended for reducing inflammation and pain associated with shin splints.
So what else can happen if you get shin splints? Keep reading!
Don’t Worry About Painkillers
Many people worry about taking painkillers like aspirin or ibuprofen for treating shin splints. After all, you wouldn’t want to feel drowsy during your workout, would you? Well, it turns out that some people are sensitive to aspirin and ibuprofen, especially high doses. Other people may have allergies to certain ingredients in aspirin and ibuprofen. Still others may simply choose to avoid these drugs because they fear side effects such as stomach bleeding.
Fortunately, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as naproxen, celebrex, and ibuprofen do not cause serious gastrointestinal damage nor interfere with platelets. However, since NSAIDs inhibit prostaglandin production, it’s possible that they can cause ulceration in patients with pre-existing peptic ulcers. Also, since many NSAIDS are available without prescription, it’s wise to ask a health professional before beginning an extended course of therapy.
You may also wonder if acetaminophen — commonly known as Tylenol — is harmful to you. Some sources claim that acetaminophen may interact badly with other medications, particularly diuretics (drugs that encourage urination) and sulfonamides. Others state that short term use of large amounts of acetaminophen does not pose significant risk. Of course, always check with your doctor before combining any medication.
Now let’s talk about surgery. How effective is surgery for treating shin splints? We’ll tell you on the following page…
How Surgery Works
Surgery is reserved for extreme cases where no other methods have worked. As mentioned earlier, stress fractures require a lot of force to bend bones. Thus, if the bone is bent inward too much, it won’t respond to normal healing mechanisms. A surgeon can straighten the bone using metal plates and screws, just like with broken arms and legs. Sometimes, doctors also remove damaged tissue and calluses to prevent further damage.
There are a number of different surgical procedures, including open reduction internal fixation (ORIF), percutaneous osteotomy (PO), external fixation, intramedullary nailing, lateral closing wedge osteotomy, closed reduction, and arthroscopic repair of ligaments. All of these options involve surgery under general anesthesia. Recovery periods vary, but generally it’s advised that people abstain from strenuous activity for 4 weeks postoperatively.
With this said, surgery is rarely necessary unless other measures fail. Most cases resolve themselves within a month or two, and sometimes the patient never needs to seek medical attention at all.
Finally, let’s look at acupuncture for dealing with shin splints. Find out why it works on the next page!
Acupuncture Therapy
It’s true that acupuncture helps heal shin splints faster than you’d expect. Acupuncture stimulates nerves and muscles. Research shows that it increases circulation and releases endorphins (hormones produced by the brain that act as natural pain killers). While scientific studies haven’t uncovered exactly how acupuncture heals shin splints, it seems to work by balancing energy inside the body.
Of course, there are risks involved with acupuncture therapy. First off, needles are inserted into the skin. Because of this, it’s advisable to cleanse your skin thoroughly beforehand. Also, practitioners must be licensed and experienced in order to perform acupuncture safely. Finally, some people object to having foreign objects stuck in their bodies. With these things considered, however, acupuncture therapy may be worth trying if you’re experiencing severe pain.
Now that you understand what can happen with shin splints, read on to learn about home remedies!
Home Remedies
For simple home remedies, try soaking your feet in warm water to relieve muscle soreness. Massage your calves gently with petroleum jelly to ease pain and friction caused by tight muscles. Apply ice packs to the area for 20 minutes every hour to numb pain. Finally, elevate your leg above heart level for 10 to 15 minutes to decrease swelling.
To relieve discomfort from shin splints, wear elastic support hose made specifically for dancers. Alternatively, wear hosiery made of nylon, spandex, or lycra. Loosely laced athletic shoes or flip flops will provide better traction. Don’t wear stiff soles and heels, which can aggravate the condition.
Whether you prefer home remedies or conventional treatment, proper nutrition is essential to good health. Drinking plenty of fluids each day will help flush waste products out of your system. Nutritionist recommend eating foods rich in calcium, phosphorus, iron, zinc, and vitamins B6, B12, C, E, folic acid, and riboflavin. Omega 3 fatty acids found in fish oil are beneficial to joint mobility and flexibility. Foods containing monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats, and omega -3 fatty acids are helpful in preventing arthritis and rheumatism. Avoid fried food, refined sugar, alcohol, caffeine, salt, sodas, white flour, and saturated fat.
While any type of exercise is better than none, gentle aerobic activities such as swimming, biking, walking, jogging, hiking, aerobics, and yoga are recommended. These types of workouts are less likely to worsen shin splints. Instead, these activities promote muscle strength and flexibility. Strength training with weights is also recommended. Weight lifting with light dumbbells or resistance bands is preferable to working against free weights. Avoid repetitive movements such as squatting and pushing/pulling, which are very stressful on your lower back.
People suffering from shin splints should drink lots of liquids, particularly water. Water keeps our body healthy by helping us stay properly hydrated. Drink eight glasses of water each day. Try to stay away from beverages such as coffee, tea, beer, soda, and alcoholic drinks.
Since shin splints frequently appear along the outer edge of the tibia bone, it’s easy to identify them by looking at your foot. Look for bumps or thickened areas along the outside portion”

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