Foot Health Blog
Find expert articles from physical therapists and podiatrists to help understand, diagnose, and treat different foot health issues such as plantar fasciitis, bunions, flat feet, and more.
Shin splintsHealing Your Shins: 7 Effective Exercises for Shin SplintsAre shin splints slowing you down? You're not alone. Shin splints, medically known as medial tibial stress syndrome, are a common issue among athletes, affecting an estimated 35% with pain in the lower leg. Shin splints are characterized by pain and tenderness along the shinbone, accompanied by swelling and redness. This discomfort is often due to overuse or incorrect training techniques.
Treatment options vary from rest and over-the-counter pain medication to icing, stretching, and strengthening exercises. While all these methods can be beneficial, our focus today is on exercises that can both heal and prevent shin splints.
7 Exercises for Shin Splints
Wall Calf StretchStanding Calf RaisesKneeling Toe StretchShin StretchDeep Lunge Ankle StretchResisted DorsiflexionSingle-Leg Balance
1. Wall Calf Stretch
This exercise targets the muscles in the calf and shin.
Stand facing a wall with your hands flat against it at shoulder height.Place the foot you plan to stretch behind the other and slowly lean forward, pressing your hips toward the wall and keeping your back leg straight.As you bend the forward knee while keeping the back leg straight, you should feel a stretch in the calf of your back leg.Hold the stretch for 20-30 seconds, then release and repeat it up to four times.
NOTE: It's always a good idea to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new exercise regimen, especially if you're dealing with an injury like shin splints.
2. Standing Calf Raises
Standing calf raises strengthen the lower leg muscles, aiding in shin splint treatment. Here's how to perform this exercise:
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, abs drawn in, and place your hands on a wall or chair for support.Slowly lift your heels and rise onto the balls of your feet.Hold this position for a few seconds, then lower your heels back.Repeat for 2-3 sets of 10-15 reps each.
» Learn how to prevent shin splints with compression socks
3. Kneeling Toe Stretch
This exercise stretches the muscles in the front of the shin and the top of the foot, reducing shin splint discomfort. Here's how to do it:
Kneel on a mat, blanket, or soft surface with your toes pointing behind you.With your feet together, sit back on your heels. Ensure your back remains straight, and keep your hands on your thighs.You should feel a stretch in the front of your shins and the top of your feet.Hold the stretch for 20-30 seconds, then release by bringing your weight forward and releasing the pressure on your toes.Repeat for 2-3 sets.
4. Shin Stretch
Also known as the seiza stretch, this exercise stretches the muscles at the back of the shin and the ankle. Here's how to do it:
Start by kneeling on a mat with the tops of your feet flat on the floor.Keep your back straight and your buttocks over your heels.You should feel a stretch at the back of your shin.Hold the stretch for 15-20 seconds and then release.Repeat for 2-3 sets of 10 reps each.
» Check out the best insoles for shin splints
5. Deep Lunge Ankle Stretch
This exercise stretches the ankle and calf muscles, relieving tension in the shin. Here's how to perform this exercise:
Begin in a push-up position with your arms straight and your feet hip-width apart.Lift one leg off the ground, bring your foot forward, and place it under your stomach.Slowly lower your body weight on your front foot, pressing your ankle into the ground. You should feel a stretch.Hold the stretch for 20-30 seconds, then release. Repeat for five reps per leg.
6. Resisted Dorsiflexion
The resisted dorsiflexion exercise strengthens the muscles at the front of the shin, helping to prevent the recurrence of shin splints. Here's how to do it:
Sit on the floor with your legs extended in front of you.Loop a resistance band over the top of one foot and anchor the other end to a sturdy object, such as a chair leg.With your knee and leg straight, flex your foot towards your shin to pull on the band.Hold this position for a few seconds before releasing it. Repeat for 10-15 reps.
7. Single-Leg Balance
The single-leg balance exercise improves balance and stability, promoting recovery from shin splints. Here's how to do it:
Stand on one foot with your knee slightly bent.Try to maintain your balance for 30-60 seconds.To increase the difficulty of the exercise, close your eyes or stand on a soft surface like a foam pad.Repeat up to 5 times.
Fitness Tip!The single-leg balance exercise not only helps with shin splints but also improves overall balance and stability, which can enhance your performance in various sports and physical activities
» Here's why your shin splints won't go away
Take Control of Your Shin Health
Shin splints can be painful and frustrating, but you have the power to manage and even prevent them. By incorporating these seven exercises into your routine, you can improve your overall foot health.
In addition to these exercises, consider exploring Upstep's selection of insoles. These custom orthotics provide support and cushioning for your feet, reducing pain and preventing future injury. They can be a great addition to your shin splint management plan, allowing you to enjoy the activities you love without discomfort. So why wait? Take control of your shin health today and get back to an active lifestyle.
Shin splintsPrevent Shin Splints with Compression Socks: Tips and TricksAre you tired of shin splints sidelining your active lifestyle? You're not alone! They affect up to 35% of all runners, and diagnosing and treating them can be a challenge.
Shin splints, officially known as medial tibial stress syndrome, are common among those engaged in high-impact activities like running or jumping. The condition can worsen if left untreated, potentially leading to stress fractures. But there's good news: compression socks and custom orthotics, like Upstep's, can help manage this condition effectively.
Do Compression Socks Help with Shin Splints?
Compression socks work by applying pressure to the tissues of the lower leg. This compression stimulates blood circulation, reduces swelling, and hence, eases pain. By wearing compression socks during and after your runs, you can support the muscles around the tibia bone, alleviating the stress placed on them. Furthermore, improved blood circulation can lead to faster healing and reduced recovery time, enabling you to return to your activities sooner.
Did you know?Shin splints can refer to several different problems that cause shin pain, such as compartment syndrome, medial tibial stress syndrome, and tibial stress fracture. These different types of shin splints can often overlap and cause confusion, making diagnosis and treatment challenging.
» Here are some easy foam roller exercises for shin splints
Benefits of Compression Shocks for Shin Splints
If you want to get back to working out as quickly as possible and achieve your full potential, you need to understand how to aid your body's recovery process. Compression socks can be a crucial tool in this journey.
Let's dive into the key benefits they bring to the table:
By applying pressure to the tissues of the lower leg, compression socks help to improve blood circulation. With improved circulation comes a reduction in inflammation, a key contributor to the pain associated with shin splints. As a result, the healing process can be expedited, leading to faster pain cessation. In the long run, this allows you to maintain your active lifestyle without being hampered by persistent discomfort.
Muscle fatigue is a common setback when engaging in high-impact activities. Compression socks can reduce this fatigue by improving blood supply to the muscles. With increased oxygen and nutrient delivery, your muscles can function more efficiently, potentially enhancing your performance during your runs or workouts.
Quicker Recovery and Reduced Risk of Injury
Post-exercise muscle soreness is largely due to the buildup of lactic acid. Improved blood flow, facilitated by compression socks, aids in the removal of this lactic acid. This not only reduces post-exercise soreness but also speeds up the recovery process. Additionally, wearing compression socks during exercise can reduce the onset of muscle fatigue, leading to less strain on the tissues and ultimately, a lower risk of injury. This means you can get back to your activities sooner and with a greater sense of security.
» Find out what vitamins you should take if you have shin splints
Bonus Support: Custom Orthotics
Custom orthotics provide support to the feet while offering shock-absorbing qualities. They are designed to absorb the shock placed through the tibia bone, take the strain off the tissues in the lower legs, and improve overall foot alignment. Made with high-grade durable materials, these orthotics can reduce the risk of further injury and alleviate the pain associated with shin splints.
Start Your Recovery Journey
Treating shin splints effectively requires a multifaceted approach. Besides rest and traditional treatments, consider incorporating compression socks and custom orthotics into your routine. Remember to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new treatment regimen for shin splints.
Shin splintsEasy Foam Roller Routine for Curing Shin SplintsShin splints are a common overuse injury associated with pain along the inner edge of the tibia bone in the lower leg, typically resulting from repetitive physical activities, often involving running or jumping. Symptoms of shin splints include tenderness and pain along the inner edge of the shin bone, as well as mild swelling in the area.
Foam rolling is a form of self-myofascial release, using a cylindrical foam roller to alleviate tight muscles, soreness, and inflammation in various muscles throughout the body. Foam rolling can also increase joint range of motion by releasing the surrounding muscles. Foam rollers can specifically target the lower leg muscles to treat and manage symptoms of shin splints. Regular foam rolling can alleviate soreness associated with vigorous exercise and improve overall recovery. Here is an easy foam rolling routine for reducing shin splint symptoms that can be done several times a week.
In addition to foam rolling, other conservative management strategies can be used to treat this condition. These include rest, ice, orthotics, massage, and stretching. Combining these treatments can effectively address shin splints.
How to Foam Roll Shin Splints
To manage your shin splints effectively, foam rolling techniques should target the lower leg muscles, namely the gastrocnemius (calf) and tibialis anterior muscle in the front of the lower leg. It is essential to listen to your body when performing foam rolling techniques: go slowly, stay relaxed, and don't force yourself into any adverse pain. If you notice a muscle knot, hold pressure on the knot for up to a minute. The foam rolling routine for your shins should take approximately 5-10 minutes maximum and can be done 2-3 times a day.
Follow these steps to foam roll massage your gastrocnemius muscle:
Sit on the floor with the foam roller in front of you, placing the leg you intend to massage on top of the foam roller.Bend the opposite knee, placing the foot on the floor for stability.Start with the foam roller lower down on the muscle towards the ankle.Lift your buttocks off the floor with your hands, allowing pressure to be placed through the calf muscle on the foam roller.Then slowly roll your calf muscle up and down over the roller.Roll each leg for 1 - 2 minutes.
Tip: You can rotate the leg outwards to target the muscles on the outer aspect of the leg and cross the legs to add additional pressure to the calf muscle.
Tibialis Anterior Massage
Follow these steps to foam roll massage your tibialis anterior muscle, located in the front of your lower leg:
Kneel on the floor with the foam roller in front of you.Bend at the knees while balancing your body weight on the balls of your feet and your knees. Allow your heels to touch your buttocks or as close as you can comfortably.Place the foam roller under your shins, as close to your knees as possible. Be sure not to put your knees on the foam roller.Lean forward, placing your hands on the floor for stability.Using your arms to move your body, roll the foam roller down the shins and back up again.Point the toes when you reach the lower area of your tibialis muscle.Return to the starting position and repeat back and forth for 1-2 minutes.
Say Goodbye to Shin Splints
While foam rolling has proven to be a great method for treating and alleviating symptoms of shin splints, self-management and treatment aren't limited to foam rolling. Orthotics are a great treatment option that can also prevent this condition. The best insoles for shin splints are custom orthotics that provide support and cushioning to the feet, reducing shock placed through the tibia bone, and improving foot-ankle alignment.
Upstep offers a range of custom orthotics specifically designed for various sports to help those with foot problems participate in their preferred activities pain-free and without the risk of injury. Upstep custom orthotics are made using casts of your feet and are created by professionals using high-grade, durable materials. Upstep's orthotics come with a 120-day money-back guarantee and free shipping on all orthotics purchased online.
Shin splintsPersistent Shin Splints: Why Won’t They Go Away?Shin splint is a common term referring to persistent pain along the tibia due to overuse or repetitive stress of the muscles and tendons that attach to the shinbone. They are common in dancers, runners, military recruits, or athletes who have recently intensified their activity levels.
Apart from pain, the condition presents with tenderness, soreness, and swelling sometimes. There may also be tightness or weakness in the lower leg muscles.
Shin splints' recovery time may vary from person to person, depending on the severity of the condition and its management. With a mild shin splint, symptoms dissipate within a few days to weeks, provided the leg gets rested. In more severe cases, recovery may take months with treatment, including physical therapy and taping. Experts recommend a gradual return to physical activity, beginning with low-impact exercises and progressing the exercises as symptoms improve.
Despite treatment, you may sometimes notice that shin splints are not going away. There are several other reasons why this may be so. Here are some of them.
Reasons Your Shin Splints Aren’t Going Away
Shin splint is a non-specific term used to describe pain in the lower leg. It includes conditions like medial tibial stress syndrome, tibial stress fractures, chronic compartment syndrome, exertional compartment syndrome, and periostitis.
While shin splints are treatable, some (e.g. medial tibial stress syndrome, anterior shin splints, and tibial stress fracture) take longer to heal. It's helpful to know which specific condition is occurring to plan the treatment appropriately and adjust treatment expectations accordingly.
Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome
Medial tibial stress syndrome (MTSS) is an overuse injury caused by overuse of the muscles, tendons, and bone tissue in the shin area. It's the most common cause of shin splints that don't get better quickly and is even more prevalent among runners.
MTSS is characterized by pain that may be diffuse and widespread or localized to a specific area. When the pain is localized at a point, the condition is easy to diagnose—there may also be tenderness at the anterior edge of the tibia bone.
Even with an easy diagnosis, the condition can still be debilitating and interfere with your training (the pain increases the more you run). Generally, recovery after MTSS takes three weeks to four months.
Anterior Shin Splints
Anterior shin splint is a type of MTSS that occurs when the large muscle on the front of your leg and beside the sharp edge of the shin bone) is inflamed. It's caused by the overuse of this muscle, mostly due to activities that involve repeated impact, such as running or jumping. This puts pressure on the muscle, leading to its inflammation.
Anterior shin splints are easy to diagnose. A test for anterior shin splint is positive if there is pain and tenderness on palpation of the anterior tibial muscle. With proper treatment and rest, the average recovery time after an anterior shin splint is 4-6 weeks.
Tibial Stress Fracture
Though less common than MTSS, a tibial stress fracture can become very painful without proper treatment. It's a stress fracture of the tibia bone, common in new runners who escalate their training program too quickly. It also occurs when short-course runners suddenly transition into marathons or ultramarathons. (sudden increase in running distance) or by running on hard surfaces (concrete, asphalt).
There is a real risk of the condition worsening if not properly treated. There is also a risk of re-injury. That's why shin splints must be properly managed. While the recovery time after tibial stress fractures may vary based on the severity of the fracture and the individual's situation, recovery generally takes 6-8 weeks.
» Pick the best insoles to alleviate shin splint pain
Say Goodbye to Shin Splints
With the proper treatment, recovery will be quick, and you can return to normal activities without pain or discomfort. If your shin splint takes longer than expected to heal, you should consult your doctor to determine the reason behind the delay and develop an appropriate treatment plan. Sometimes, this could be because of a misdiagnosis, an underlying condition, inadequate rest, or inappropriate treatment.
Rest is essential to speed up the healing process. In some cases, changing your footwear or running technique may also be necessary. Also, insoles can provide support and pain relief from shin splints. The best insoles for preventing shin splints are the ones that are custom-made for your foot.
Upstep’s custom orthotics are designed by professional podiatrists using the best quality materials. Customized according to the individual’s foot specification, these medical-grade orthotics absorb shock, relieve pain, and improve energy transfer during walking or running. In turn, this reduces stress on the shin bone and the muscles around it, aiding recovery from shin splints.
Shin splints7 Insoles for Shin Splints: Our Expert PicksShin splints, a painful condition that occurs along the inside of the shins and worsens lower down the shin, often plague runners, dancers, and military recruits due to the repeated strain on their lower legs. Symptoms include swelling, tenderness, and soreness along the inner side of the shinbone.
A common question among sufferers is, "Does insurance cover insoles for shin splints?" as they can help relieve discomfort and support the healing process, making them a valuable addition to your treatment plan.
It's crucial to treat shin splints promptly upon diagnosis. Insoles are particularly important in treating shin splints because they can alleviate pain, provide extra support, and correct any underlying biomechanical issues.
» Wondering if you have shin splints? Find out how to test yourself at home
Top 7 Insoles for Shin Splints
Best Running Insoles - Upstep Running Custom OrthoticsBest Firm Insoles - Tread Labs Pace InsolesBest Shock-Absorbing Insoles - URthotics Custom Orthotics for RunningBest Comfort Insoles - SOLE Active Medium InsolesBest Insoles for Flat Feet - Upstep Custom Orthotics for Flat FeetBest Pain-Relieving Insoles - Superfeet RUN Pain Relief InsolesBest Athletic Insoles for Flat Feet - Upstep Multi-Sports Custom Orthotics
1. Upstep | Running Custom Orthotics
These insoles are uniquely tailored to each individual, providing optimal support and alignment for runners with shin splints. Their custom-fit design ensures proper shock absorption and biomechanical correction to reduce the strain on your shins during high-impact activities.
ProsFully customizedDurable and high-quality materialsLightweightConsMay take some time to design
2. Tread Labs | Pace Insoles
These firm, supportive insoles are perfect for people with shin splints who need additional arch support. Their customizable design promotes foot alignment and reduces stress on the shins, allowing for a more comfortable running experience.
ProsDurable designCustomizable designSuperior arch supportConsThe customization process may be cumbersomeHigh price point
3. URthotics | Custom Orthotics for Running
Designed with shock absorption in mind, these insoles help minimize the impact on your shins with every step. The high-quality materials used in their construction ensure durability and breathability, providing long-lasting support for those suffering from shin splints.
ProsDesigned to fitVersatilityMade from durable and breathable materialsConsTime-consuming procurementCostlier over-the-counter orthotics
4. SOLE | Active Medium Insoles
These insoles prioritize comfort, featuring medium-density EVA foam that reduces strain on your shins during physical activities. Their cushioning properties are ideal for those seeking relief from shin splints while maintaining a comfortable, supported stride.
ProsSuper comfortableHigh-quality materialsUsable with different shoesConsPoor overpronation supportTake up a lot of space
5. Upstep | Custom Orthotics for Flat Feet
Tailored specifically for individuals with flat feet, these custom orthotics address shin splints caused by overpronation. They provide targeted support to stabilize the foot and ankle, alleviating stress on the lower leg and helping to prevent further injury.
ProsProvides customized foot solutionsDurable constructionSatisfaction GuaranteeConsMay not be effective for all cases of shin splints
6. Superfeet | RUN Pain Relief Insole
These insoles are designed to specifically target foot pain and discomfort during physical activity. With a deep heel cup for stability, responsive foam for cushioning, and a breathable layer to prevent moisture buildup, they offer comprehensive support for those struggling with shin splints.
ProsProvides excellent cushioningMade from high-quality materialsUsable for different shoe typesConsPricier than some alternativesThe deep-heel cup design can take time to adjust to
7. Upstep | Multi-Sports Custom Orthotics
Ideal for athletes and highly active individuals, these custom orthotics provide versatile support and gait correction. By helping to prevent injury and improve performance, they're an excellent choice for those looking to alleviate shin splints while engaging in athletic activity.
ProsVersatile athlete-focused insoleCustomized to fitMade from long-lasting and durable materialsConsOnly available on order-purchase
The Perfect Insole for Your Shin Splints
Finding the right insoles for shin splints is crucial in alleviating pain, promoting proper alignment, and supporting the healing process. Upstep's custom orthotics are the best option for individuals with shin splints because they are tailored to each person's unique needs. These insoles provide the right balance of support, cushioning, and biomechanical correction, ensuring lasting relief and preventing further complications. Don't let shin splints hinder your active lifestyle—choose Upstep's custom orthotics to help you get back on your feet with confidence.
Shin splintsFinding Comfort with Ice and Heat Therapy for Shin SplintsShin splints, a common overuse-related condition, occur in the lower legs due to repetitive continuous exercise. Pain associated with this condition arises along the inner border of the tibia (shin) bone, where the muscles and bone tissues become inflamed and typically worsens with physical activity. Worn-out shoes or footwear lacking adequate support can also predispose people to this condition.
Symptoms of shin splints include pain along the inner aspect of the tibia, tenderness, and mild swelling in the same area. Shin splints can also cause pain during running or jumping activities. Treatment methods for managing this condition include rest, ice, compression, orthotics, and anti-inflammatory medications. Applying ice to the painful or tender area can reduce inflammation and pain, typically after physical activity. Initially, ice is the best option to reduce inflammation, while heat can be applied during later stages of healing to promote blood flow to the area.
Here are some basic tips on how and when you should apply ice and heat for shin splints.
» Want to prevent shin splints? Find the right insoles for you
Icing Shin Splints
Inflammation and pain associated with shin splints are normal responses to tissue damage. They're the body’s way of healing itself after an injury. Ice helps reduce swelling and inflammation along the shin bone to alleviate pain. It works by blocking and slowing down sensory receptors from the injured area to the brain.
Ice can be applied to the area for no longer than 15-20, after which it should be removed to allow the area to return to normal body temperature. It can be applied several times a day for 2-3 days following the injury or onset of pain. Ice therapy can be combined with massage and stretching techniques for best results.
Avoid applying ice directly to the skin to prevent irritation or itching. Note that ice should be used for inflammation and pain from the onset of the injury, and ensure you don't have any serious health conditions that affect the circulatory or sensory systems, such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, dermatitis, open wounds, or infections.
» Wondering if you have shin splints? Learn how to test yourself at home
Is Heat Good for Shin Splints?
heat therapy is not recommended immediately after an injury or the onset of pain as it can increase swelling and inflammation in the area, leading to increased pain. This treatment is suggested for pain lasting longer than one week following the initial onset. It is effective for alleviating pain and soreness in arthritic joints or tense/spasmed muscles. Heat increases blood flow to the injured area, bringing oxygen-rich blood and promoting faster healing.
Alternating heat and ice therapy can aid in pain control and improve healing. After applying heat, massage therapy can provide additional relief. Gentle stretches can also aid in pain management and healing once the area is warm.
Support Ice and Heat Therapy with the Right Orthotics
In treating and managing shin splints, heat and ice application is extremely beneficial in reducing pain and improving overall healing time. Alongside cold and heat therapy, custom orthotics are an effective and affordable way to manage shin splint symptoms and prevent future recurrence.
Upstep’s custom orthotics are cast in the comfort of your own home and manufactured by professionals using high-grade materials. They offer a wide range of choices for various foot conditions and sporting needs. Upstep custom orthotics come with a 120-day money-back guarantee and free shipping.
Shin splintsVitamins for Shin Splints: Choose the Right SupplementsShin splints, or medial tibial stress syndrome, occur when the muscle and connective tissue surrounding the shin bone become inflamed. This condition is characterized by pain along the anterior edge of the tibia, tenderness, swelling, and tightness or muscle weakness.
Shin splints are common in those who participate in repetitive high-impact activities that affect the legs, such as dancing, running, and jumping. They can also result from a sudden increase in activity intensity or duration.
Treating shin splints as early as possible is essential for faster healing and preventing further complications, which can progress into stress fractures if left untreated. Pain relief can be achieved through icing, rest, insoles, change of footwear, and in some cases, physical therapy. Certain vitamins and supplements also aid in treating shin splints, as discussed below.
» Wondering if you have shin splints? Learn how to test yourself at home
Vitamin D is crucial for bone health, as it aids in the absorption of calcium and phosphate needed to build and maintain strong, healthy bones. Vitamin D deficiency can lead to weak and brittle bones, increasing the risk of stress fractures and other bone-related problems, including osteomalacia, which presents with bone pain, muscle weakness, and bone softening.
Dietary sources of vitamin D include fatty fish, fish liver, egg yolks, and mushrooms. You can also obtain vitamin D from sun exposure and supplements. In patients with shin splints, vitamin D supplements may help prevent recurrence of tibial pain.
Vitamin A, when consumed in regular proportions, is vital for building strong and healthy bones. It plays a role in bone building and remodeling, maintaining bone tissue integrity, reducing inflammation, and regulating antibody production as part of the immune response.
Vitamin A deficiency negatively impacts bone health, increasing the risk of bone fractures, which may lead to tibial bone fracture and, consequently, shin splints. Natural sources of vitamin A include bell peppers, carrots, eggs, kale, liver, milk, spinach, and sweet potatoes. Vitamin A supplements are available but should be used as advised by your doctor, as excessive doses can be harmful.
Supplements for Shin Splints
In addition to vitamins A and D, other supplements, such as magnesium, calcium, omega-3 fatty acids, collagen, and vitamin K, support bone health.
Magnesium regulates calcium levels in the body and is responsible for bone formation. Magnesium deficiency can lead to osteoporosis and an increased risk of fractures, as well as muscle and nerve twitching or cramps.
Magnesium can help speed shin splint recovery, prevent injuries, and reduce fatigue. Good sources of this nutrient include leafy green vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, and whole grains.
Calcium is essential for maintaining bone health and strength, as well as muscle contraction and function. Deficiency can lead to stress fractures or other injuries in the tibia, and cause cramps, muscle spasms, and weakness.
Strong bones can better absorb the shocks associated with running or walking. Calcium intake through natural sources or supplements can reduce the likelihood of shin splints and other related bone injuries. Dietary sources of calcium include dairy products like milk, cheese, yogurt, fruits, nuts, seeds, leafy vegetables, and fish.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for several physiological processes, including bone growth and maintenance, and have an anti-inflammatory effect. Generally, this nutrient is available in fatty fish, seafood, walnuts, and chia seeds.
Support Your Shins with the Right Supplements
While vitamins and supplements can support shin splint recovery by improving bone health, orthotics can directly help relieve pain symptoms. The best insoles for shin splints are customized to fit. Custom orthotics provide pain relief for shin splints by cushioning the feet, keeping them in proper alignment, supporting the foot arch, and ensuring optimal transfer of forces during activities.
If you’re unsure which insoles to use, Upstep’s custom orthotics are an excellent option. These medical-grade orthotics are customized to fit using the individual's foot specifications. Designed by seasoned podiatrists using superior quality materials, they guarantee comfort, stability, and foot alignment. In addition, Upstep orthotics are comparatively affordable and can be easily purchased through the Upstep store.
Shin splintsDo You Have Shin Splints? Learn How to Test Yourself at HomeShin splints, also known as medial tibial stress syndrome, is a common overuse-related injury causing pain along the inner border of the tibia bone. This condition is a leading cause of lower leg pain in young competitive athletes worldwide, affecting 35% of the athletic population.
Shin splints occur when the muscles and tissues surrounding the tibia bone become inflamed due to repetitive use. Factors contributing to shin splints include increased training duration, improper footwear, and muscle imbalances in the lower leg or foot. Shin splints typically cause pain during and shortly after exercise, which subsides during rest periods.
Here are some ways to determine if you have shin splints and how to manage the condition conservatively.
Test Yourself for Shin Splints
Determining whether you have shin splints is the first step in the healing process. Shin palpation and shin edema tests are commonly used to diagnose shin splints. These tests can be performed at home or by a medical professional as part of a more extensive assessment.
To check for shin splints, perform the following two tests on both legs:
Shin Palpation Test
Squeeze the lower two-thirds of the lower leg, including the shin bone and surrounding muscular tissue, with sufficient pressure. If you experience pain during this test, it may indicate shin splints.
Shin Edema Test
Apply pressure to the painful area along the lower two-thirds of the tib finger. Press down several times, moving up and down the length of the lower two-thirds of the tibia bone. Remove your finger and observe the area for any indentation left behind. If an indentation remains, it suggests the presence of edema (swelling caused by fluid accumulation under the skin), indicating shin splints.
Treating Shin Splints
If the above two tests for shin splints are positive, there is a high possibility that the source of your lower pain is due to shin splints. Consider the following treatment and prevention strategies:
Rest: Take a break from exercises that involve impact to the tibia bone and tissues, such as running or jumping. Rest is crucial for allowing inflammation to subside and reducing pain. Opt for low-impact exercises like swimming to avoid aggravating symptoms.Ice: Apply ice for up to 20 minutes at a time (with a barrier between the ice and skin) to reduce inflammation and swelling. Ice the area several times throughout the day.Orthotics: Orthotics provide cushioning, stability, and support to the feet. The additional shock absorption from orthotics, combined with your shoes, reduces stress on the shin bone during physical activity. Custom-made orthotics can also help prevent shin splints.Stretches: Perform gentle stretches targeting the lower leg muscles to improve shin splint symptoms and alleviate pain.Foam Rolling: Using a foam roller to perform a myofascial release of the muscles and tissues of the lower leg proves to be beneficial in alleviating symptoms and pain while speeding up healing.Massage: Apply massage techniques to the lower leg muscles and tissues to stimulate blood flow and promote healing.
Say Goodbye to Shin Splints
Severe shin splints can affect your ability to walk and may worsen without proper treatment. Custom orthotics, however, offer an effective and affordable way to manage shin splints by alleviating stress on the tibia bone, making the choice of the right insoles for shin splints all the more important.
Upstep offers a range of custom orthotics for various sports needs and conditions affecting the feet and lower legs. These orthotics are beneficial for managing and preventing shin splints from exercise. Upstep's custom orthotics are fully personalized and made with high-quality, durable materials by professionals and come with a 120-day money-back guarantee and free shipping.
Shin splintsShin Splints: Causes and Fastest Treatment OptionsShin splints, also known as medial tibial stress syndrome, is an inflammation of the muscles, tendons, and bone tissue surrounding the tibia. It is caused, aggravated, and treated by various conditions that will all be discussed within this article.
What Are Shin Splints?
The condition usually affects the posterior and anterior tibial tendons and, in more severe cases, the flexor digitorum longus and flexor hallucis longus tendons. The posterior tibialis, flexor digitorum, and soleus muscles mainly serve in stabilizing the lower leg and foot, as well as in pushing off while running.
Symptoms of Shin Splints
Pain is most commonly felt near the inner border of the tibia (shin bone), where the muscles bind to the bone. Additionally, you may experience the following symptoms:
Stiffness, soreness, cramps, or redness along the inside of your shinbone and related musclesMild swelling in your lower legNumbness and weakness in the feetAggravated pain after exercise
In severe cases, the pain may progress to a stress reaction or a stress fracture.
Causes of Shin Splints
Repetitive tension on the shinbone and the connective tissues is the most common cause of shin splints. Excessive force or bone fractures cause muscles to enlarge, which puts more pressure on the bone and causes pain and inflammation. Track and field athletes, especially sprinters and jumpers, are highly susceptible, as well as military cadets and vigorous dancers. This likelihood increases further in athletes with flat feet or particularly stiff arches.
The 7 Most Common Causes of Shin Splints
Starting or increasing the intensity of a sport or trainingWearing shoes that aren't supportiveRunning or participating in sports on hard surfacesRunning on sloping or uneven terrainPrior history of foot and ankle disordersInadequate running formTense calf muscles
Shin splints progress through four stages:
Pain that occurs as a result of sports activity
Pain that occurs before and after sports activity but has no effect on the individual's performance.
Pain that occurs before, during, and after sports exercise and impacts the individual's performance.
Severe pain that makes physical exercise impossible.
How to Treat Shin Splints
Shin splints typically necessitate a break from specific physical activity and a period of relaxation for your legs. Your doctor will most likely recommend the following home remedies:
Hold your legs elevated.Apply ice packs to minimize swelling.Take an anti-inflammatory medication, such as ibuprofen (Advil) or naproxen sodium (Aleve).Massage your shins using a foam roller.Using insoles or orthotics in your shoes if your arches collapse or flatten as you stand up.
To hasten shin splint recovery, you should relax and let your leg heal. You should also avoid activities that may aggravate the problem and follow the RICE method, which stands for Rest, Ice, Compression (consider using compression socks for shin splints), and Elevation.
Shin splints are rarely treated surgically. If your shin splints are causing considerable pain and the symptoms have lasted for several months, your doctor may recommend surgery. It's impossible to predict when your shin splints will go away. It is determined by what caused them. People heal at varying rates as well, commonly within 3-6 months.
How to Prevent Shin Splints
You can avoid shin splints by doing the following:
Wear shoes that fit well and provide adequate support.Make use of shock-absorbing insoles.Avoid exercising on hard, sloping, or uneven terrain.Gradually increasing the intensity of activity.Warm up and stretch appropriately before exercising.Prevent abrupt increases in physical activity.Strength training, specifically toe movements that strengthen the calf muscles.Maintain a healthy body weight.
Any rigorous training program necessitates the strengthening of all surrounding muscle groups. Workouts should be diversified to minimize overuse and injury to any specific muscle group. If you have significant muscle pain or other physical problems, you should discontinue any intense activity program.
Athletes who wear proper footwear, gradually increase their activity level, cross-train, and utilize the RICE technique are more likely to prevent and treat shin splints.