shin pain, shin splints

Shin Splints: Those Throbbing Legs

Shin Splints

What to do and How to prevent

Haven’t you ever experienced a strong pain and/or swelling in the legs after a strenuous activity using your lower limb (legs) like running or aerobics? It’s likely that you are experiencing what is known as shin splints. The area of the pain is at the shin. Tibia, popularly known as shin bone is the larger and stronger of the two bones in the leg below the knee, and it connects the knee with the ankle bones.

Running or repetitive weight bearing on the legs may lead to tension on the muscles around the shin bone. This causes swelling (inflammation) of the tissue around the bone, which causes pain.

Running on hard surfaces like concrete,  running on uneven ground, beginning an exercise program after a long , increasing exercise intensity or duration too soon , running in worn out or ill fitting shoes are common causes of shin splints.

What to do?

The treatment of shin splints begins with Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation (RICE). All of these should help to decrease the involved inflammation and pain.

Once the pain has subsided, exercise can be resumed, but it must be built up gradually to prevent a recurrence. If the pain resumes, it is best to stop the activity immediately.

How to Prevent Shin Splints?

Check the condition of your shoes. If they look worn out, or don't give you the support they once did, get a new pair.

 Strengthen calf muscles of your legs.

 Introduce any changes to your activity level gradually.

Mix high-impact exercises like running with low-impact exercises like swimming.

 Warm up before exercise and stretch after a strenuous activity. This will also help you feel less sore the next day.




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RUN or REST: preventing common running injuries


Preventing common running injuries

Many runners will experience injury at some point in their running career. Most injuries sustained by runners are, what are termed ‘overuse’ or ‘repetitive strain’ injuries. Most of these are minor and will not affect them greatly. But there could be others, that could threaten to prevent them from enjoying their sport temporarily or, in the worst cases, permanently.  The top 5 most common running injuries include :

  1. Runners knee (Knee pain)
  2. Plantar fasciitis (Foot and Heel pain)
  3. ITB friction syndrome (Outside of the Thigh pain)
  4. Shin Splints (Shin bone pain)
  5. Achilles tendon injury (Back of the Ankle and Heel pain)

It is important for first time runners to follow strengthening exercise regime apart from a progressive running schedule. If your body is not strong enough, or if you follow bad training practice, this can often result in overuse injuries.

How does one prevent them?

  • Improve and maintain your muscular flexibility by stretching exercises
  • Keep up with Muscle strengthening exercises
  • Increase your mileage gradually and periodize your training schedules
  • Cross train
  • Wear the correct type of running shoes based on your foot type and running technique
  • Never ignore Rest days
  • Stay hydrated and eat a well balanced diet

If you do feel your legs are heavy and tired while running and you’re carrying a niggle that you’re worried could become more serious. It’s best to stop and rest for a few days, giving the body a chance to recover at an early stage itself.

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