If you've noticed anything from dull to sharp pain in your lower legs, which may be accompanied by some swelling, you're likely suffering from shin splints. This condition is common among those who exercise frequently, including runners. You can get relief for this type of injury by scheduling an appointment at a physical therapy clinic. The therapist can not only work to relieve your pain, but also ensure that nothing more serious is causing your discomfort. In the days that you're waiting for your appointment, here are some self-care steps that you can use to reduce your pain:
Take A Break
Shin splits are considered an overuse injury, which means that they've likely developed because you've been pushing yourself physically. This could occur if you're training for a running event such as a marathon, for example. If you continue to push yourself, it's highly likely that you'll be unable to enjoy the event because of your pain — and you may even need to withdraw from it. Perhaps the simplest solution to addressing pain from shin splints is to give yourself some rest. Often, a period of time away from your chosen athletic activity can be enough to help the pain subside.
Change Up Your Workout
Even once you're aware that shin splints develop due to overuse, you may have trouble taking too much time off from your workouts. Given that shin splints are common among runners, hikers, and walkers, you should look for another form of exercise if you're absolutely set on keeping active. For example, perhaps you have a time-sensitive weight loss goal and you're concerned that taking a few days off might impede your progress. In such a scenario, turn to another form of cardiovascular exercise that doesn't put the same stress on this part of your body. Suggestions include cycling and swimming.
Use Arch Supports
People with high arches whose feet are unsupported during physical exercise may develop shin splints quickly through prolonged physical fitness. Even if you're taking a break from exercising, you'll still likely be walking at various points throughout the day. You can often ease the symptoms of your shin splints by inserting arch supports into your shoes — and remembering to switch them from one pair of shoes to another whenever you change your footwear. If you make these changes, you'll experience less discomfort as you prepare to see your physical therapist to help you.
Contact a company like Advanced Physical Therapy for more information.