There’s nothing worse than getting up the day after a run and feeling that ache in your lower legs. Shin splints occur during physical activity and result from too much force on your shinbone and connective tissues that attach your muscle to your bone. (Source) For runners, shin splints are a common problem and are the cause of 13% of running injuries. (Source) In addition to lower leg pain, some people may experience swelling.
Shin splints might be caused by:
Sometimes the best treatment for shin splints is to simply rest. If your legs are swollen, ice them for 20-30 minutes every few hours for two to three days, or until the pain is gone. Anti-inflammatory painkillers will also help pain and swelling.
If your issue is flat feet, it’s best to invest in arch support for your shoes or a new pair. If you are a severe overpronator, motion control shoes are best for you; if you’re a mild overpronator (which is the most common foot type), stability shoes will work best. (Source)
Check out this guide from Runner’s World to find the right type of shoe for you.
If none of these suggestions work and pain persists, it’s best to consult your doctor. Always listen to your body! Take care of yourself when you have shin splints and give your body time to heal. You hear the expression “no pain, no gain” frequently, but that is awful advice to follow.
Here are several tips to help prevent shin splints.