As those who have ventured into the mountains before can testify if you’re not careful, or hurry to the snow park as soon as you arrive, then it is more than likely that you could develop Shin Splints.
What are Shin Splints?
Shin Splints are the presence of inflammation in the around the tibia. They can also be referred to as as medial tibial stress syndrome (MTSS). Symptoms of Shin Splints can include:
- a dull ache in the front part of the lower leg
- pain on either side of the shin bone
- pain along the inner part of the lower leg
- tenderness or soreness along the inner part of the lower leg
- swelling in the lower leg (usually mild, if present)
- numbness and weakness in the feet
What causes Shin Splints?
There is no specific medical conclusion to the cause, but theories include:
- small tears in the muscle that's pulled off the bone
- an inflammation of the periosteum [a thin sheath of tissue that wraps around the tibia, or shin bone]
- inflammation of the muscle
How do you relieve Shin Splints?
The first step with Shin Splints is to ice your shin to reduce inflammation. For those of us hitting the mountains or the trails this winter, taping can be a simple and effective way to help reduce the impact of shin splints and reduce inflammation between icing.
The example below demonstrates how to support medial shin splints. You can mirror this technique on the lateral side for pain in that area.
Using the tape, measure a length along the inside of the leg from below the knee to just above the ankle, cut the tape and round tape ends. Rounding the tape ends helps to stop the tape from catching or sticking to clothing.
Phone a friend. With the patient sitting, get them to flex the foot, and starting with one end of the longer piece of measured tape, apply under low tension down the length of the leg, then rub to activate the adhesive.
Next measure a second strip from calf to shin around the pained area, cut and round tape ends.
Take the tape, tear in the middle apply some tension across its length and then apply to the painful area perpendicular to your first strip. Apply with slight stretch to the tape and again rub to active the adhesive.