runner experiencing pain in calves and shins

Why Do I Have Shin Pain & How Do I Relieve It at Home?

Shin pain is a common injury suffered by those who run or work out regularly. What most people don’t realize is that it can strike anyone who suddenly increases their physical activity. Shin splints are caused by the tibialis posterior muscle becoming inflamed, which results in pain in the shin area. This muscle is located on the inside and front of the shin bone, or tibia bone. Below, Ultimate Health Clinic shares everything you need to know about shin pain, including possible causes and available treatments.

How Is the Tibialis Posterior Muscle Linked With Shin Pain?

Any time you walk or run, your ankle and foot are going through a specific movement. This movement is pronation and supination, which is basically the flatting of your foot arch and the return of your arch to its normal position. Your arch flattens to provide shock absorption and returns to its arched form to give the foot stability for lifting.

The tibialis posterior muscle works during this process to help aid the movement and also to depress the return motion when you are running or walking. Inflammation and overuse can result in various factors that will cause pain in your shin.

Causes of Pain in the Shin

Worn out shoes can cause pain in the shin. Your running and walking shoes are made to offer ankle and foot support. When they wear down, the muscles on your shins have to work harder to compensate. Weak core and hip muscles can also cause pain along your shin. These muscles help with the rotation of your lower limbs in conjunction with your upper leg muscles. If these areas are weak, it causes strain on the shin muscles, which will result in swelling and pain. Tight calf muscles can limit your range of motion, which has an adverse effect on your shin muscles. Your shin muscles not only will have to do the work they are designed for, but also have to fight against the calf muscles to complete their rotations.

How to Treat Sore Shins at Home

If you are suffering from shin splints, there are some methods you can use at home to alleviate the pain. Our suggestions are:

  • Ice the shins for 15-minute intervals several times daily.
  • Give the inflamed muscles a break by taking a day off or choosing a lighter activity such as swimming.
  • Wear shoes even inside the house to help the muscles rest.
  • Check your shoes for wear and tear and replace them if needed.

Another way to help give the muscle some relief is by completing healing stretches and performing strengthening exercises. Some of those are:

  • Stretching that increased the range of motion in the ankle.
shin pain stretch 1
  • Tibialis posterior strengthening exercises such as using a towel for ankle inversion.
shin pain stretch 2
  • Core muscle and hip girdle strengthening exercises such as squats and clamshells.
shin pain stretch 3

How the Professionals at Ultimate Health Clinic Can Help

For most people, treating shin splints at home with ice, rest, and the other methods listed above will be sufficient. If the pain persists, it is important to consult a healthcare professional for help. Our East Gwillimbury physiotherapist will be able to complete a full evaluation of your shin to discover the cause of your pain. After assessing your gait and any other complaints, a personalized treatment plan can be formulated to help you find relief. For more information, give us a call at (905) 251-0162 today.

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