Shin Splints & I Have A Loooong History!
Hope you guys are doing great and staying safe. Today we’ll be talking about something I’ve personally suffered from for a very long time: shin splints.
During this time I used to be super active as I was a part of the U15 boys soccer team. Practice twice a week, and a match every week was basically my routine. After each game, I remember being in quite some pain especially in my lower right leg.
I didn’t really do much about it at that time, but there is something that has worked miraculously for me since then, more on this later!
For now, what are shin splints anyways?
What Are Shin Splints & Why Do They Happen?
I like the definition given by Mayo Clinic, basically, what we refer to as shin splints is simply pain/tenderness along the shin bone in the lower leg.
The most intense I’ve had is akin to a sharp stabbing pain which almost feels like it’s coming from the bone. Over time the pain subsides, but during the activity, the pain can be debilitating, at least for me it was!
The reason shin splints happen is because the connective tissue and muscles have been excessively strained due to repetitive use, and as a result are now inflamed. And what happens when muscles get inflamed? Hint: it’s a four letter word starting with “P” and ending with “N”.
So if repetitive use is the culprit, does that mean we ought to slow our activity down to let our tissues and muscles recover? There’s definitely some truth to that and slowing down activity will most probably help. However, one can also try other things too.
I know this firsthand as I’ve used cleats half a size too big, and let me tell you the discomfort is one thing, the pain that comes during intense activity is another! This is why it’s so so important to select footwear that fits you as closely as possible, especially when said footwear will be used to perform intense activity.
Properly sized footwear can definitely help eliminate shin splints, but what about massage, do massages help shin splints or is this just another age old myth?
Do Massages Help Shin Splints?
In one word, YES!
Massage can absolutely help relieving pain caused by shin splints. If you recall what we said earlier in the post that shin splints happen because of the connective tissues and muscles becoming inflamed, massage if properly done can relieve that pain and inflammation.
Why is this important? For a number of reasons:
This is why having a customized approach is definitely the best way to deal with the problem. Of course this isn’t possible all the time, because, well paying a massage therapist every week (or even every other week) isn’t cheap! It’s actually quite pricey!
Can One Resolve Their Shin Splints By Self Massage?
Self massage has always been a fantastic option for those who don’t wish to spend on paying a massage therapist. The biggest con with this however, is that you’re limited in how much you can do. Your hands are limited in terms of their range of motion, so there are areas you won’t be able to work on.
So can one self massage themselves to get rid of shin splint pain? Yes it is possible. There’s a few ways to approach this:
As you can see from the video, she was using a stick roller to help assist her. Investing in a stick roller to me is a no-brainer! It’s such a versatile tool you can literally use it for everything on your body, and yes I mean everything! I’ve seen a video where one person demonstrated how to massage the entire body using just a roller stick!
I previously wrote a post on rollers, you can check it out here in case you’re interested in buying one.
One Very Important Thing To Remember!
Before I bid you farewell, there’s one very important thing you should always remember:
What this means is your first action is to speak to your physician and get him/her to provide a diagnosis. Maybe it ends up being that you don’t actually have shin splints, but something else entirely.
You never know until the condition has been diagnosed, and that can only be done by a trained medical professional.
Once you have the green light to massage (and self-massage), then and only then should you commence a routine. If the technique makes things worse, you should desist and stop.
I think this goes without saying, but even so, one should always learn to listen and watch the signs of the body.
I Wish You All The Best!
I know just how much of an annoyance shin splints can be, and now that I’ve grown older, I realize that the best ways to treat shin splints are often the ones that address the root cause rather than popping pain pills. Massage is a fantastic way to achieve this and one that has personally worked wonders for me!
I hope it works for you as well. I’ll be looking forward to hearing from you, so definitely drop a comment down below letting me know if massage has provided some relief from your shin splints! All right, that’s all for today. Be safe, be well, and most importantly be happy!