Shin splint is a common condition among runners and joggers as well as other athletes who are into gymnastics and dancing. Some walkers may also feel pain along their lower leg as a result of shin splints. There are many reasons for the development of shin splints including inadequate warm-up or doing intense activity too soon, improper footwear, exercising on hard surfaces, doing high impact activities such as uphill running, tendonitis, and inflammation of the covering of the bone, or worse, stress fractures, sending ailing runners back to their Lutz chiropractor.

There has been an old notion that when you have shin splints, you simply run through it until such time that you won’t feel the pain at all, but this misconception is one of the reasons that shin splints develop into more severe musculoskeletal condition. So should you keep running with shin splints? The answer is NO.

Shin splints is characterized by pain along the medical or lateral potion of the tibia or the shin bone. The pain is sully felt just when you begin your exercise and at the end of your workouts. However, some people may even feel the pain while they are exercising or running.

One of the most effective managements for shin splints is to take active rest that is why you shouldn’t keep running while you have one. Active rest involves a transient discontinuation of usual activities and focusing on low-impact ones as you deal with pain and other symptoms. Active rest does not mean that you have to stop all your activities all of a sudden because doing so may just lead to more risk of reoccurrence once you continue your routine. In terms of running, it should be noted that running is a high impact activity and may just worsen the condition if you run through your pain.

When the tissues are repaired, a scar tissue is usually formed. This formation allows the injured tissue to effectively return to its normal shape, size and functioning. However, if you keep on running while you are recovering from shin splints, the tendency is the scar tissue gets torn leading to a weaker repaired tissue.

When shin splints is caused by stress fracture, running may in fact lead to more severe fractures. In this line, keeping yourself from running while you have shin splints is the best way to recover optimally. Nevertheless, low-impact activities should still be continued to allow the leg to carefully adapt and prevent muscle weakness and allow the leg to adequately resume activities gradually. Some of the low-impact exercises that you can perform include:

  • Using stationary cycling and elliptical trainer

Stationary cycling may be your activity of choice while recovering from shin splints. Also, elliptical trainers will allow you to exercise your legs without the undue tension and stress you get from running.

  • Swimming

Swimming has always been the universal exercise for those who cannot perform high-impact activities. It allows you to improve the circulation in the affected foot and the buoyancy of the water makes recovery time shorter.

  • Water running

Although running in hard surfaces is contraindicated, water running can be an excellent alternative to conventional running. Running in the pool and using flotation devices while seemingly running is a perfect rehabilitation exercise for shin splints.

If you are suffering from shin splints, make sure to refrain from running, but employ other low-impact activities to allow the injury to repair optimally.