To Alleviate Shin Splints, Try RICE

“Shin splints” is a condition characterized by pain along the shinbone (tibia)—medically known as medial tibial stress syndrome—and is commonly seen in runners, dancers, and other athletes who have recently intensified or changed their training routines. Shin splints are caused by repetitive stress on the muscles and tendons that attach to the tibia. For shin splints, the best treatment is prevention, which may include warm-up stretches, gradual conditioning, orthotics (shoe inserts for arch support) or different shoes, range-of-motion exercises, and a neoprene sleeve to warm up the leg prior to exercise. But, if you already have shin splints, here are a few methods to find relief:

  • Remember RICE: rest, ice, compression, and elevation. Most cases of shin splints will heal on their own with RICE, plus judicious use of over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen.
  • Some supplements can also help with pain and inflammation, including curcumin-rich preparations of turmeric(Curcuma longa), and proteolytic enzymes such as bromelain.
  • Under the guidance of a qualified healthcare professional, one can also try topical DMSO (dimethyl sulfoxide gel) to reduce pain and swelling.

But, be sure to check with your doctor before trying to treat shin splints yourself. 

Source: Muscle, Ligaments and Tendons Journal

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