Prevention, rather than cure, should
always be your first aim. I was very surprised when researching this
topic at the number of articles that totally neglected any mention of
preventative measures. They all talked of treatment and cure, but only
one out of twenty took the time to address the issue of prevention in
Even before any sign of shin
soreness appears there are a number of simple preventative measures that
can be easily implemented.
Since about half of all lower leg problems are caused by biomechanics
inefficiencies, it makes sense to get the right advice on footwear. Your
feet are the one area you should not "skimp" on. The best advice I can
give you concerning footwear, is to go and see a qualified podiatrist for
a complete foot-strike, or gait analysis. They will be able to tell you if
there are any concerns regarding the way your foot-strike or gait is
After your foot-strike has been
analyzed, have your podiatrist, or competent sports footwear sales person
recommend a number of shoes that suit your requirements. Good quality
footwear will go a long way in helping to prevent many lower leg problems.
Apart from good footwear, what
else can you do? I believe the following three preventative measures are
not only very effective, but crucial.
Firstly, a thorough and correct warm
up will help to prepare the muscles and tendons for any activity to come.
Without a proper warm up the muscles and tendons will be tight and stiff.
There will be limited blood flow to the lower legs, which will result in a
lack of oxygen and nutrients for those muscles.
The basic treatment for shin splints
is no different to most other soft tissue injuries. Immediately following
the onset of any shin pain, the R.I.C.E.R. regime should be applied. This
involves Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation,
and Referral to an appropriate professional for an accurate
diagnosis. It is critical that the R.I.C.E.R. regime be implemented for at
least the first 48 to 72 hours. Doing this will give you the best possible
chance of a complete and full recovery.