Do you often experience pain in your shins when you walk, especially on hard surfaces? This can be caused by a variety of things: decreased fat pads in the feet and ankles leading to hernias and calluses; muscle imbalance or tightness, caused by high heels or shoes that don’t fit properly; or inflammation. So, how can you treat sore shins from walking?
Before we get to that, let’s briefly look at some of the symptoms of sore shins…
Symptoms of Sore Shins
Shin splints are a common complaint among runners, but you don’t need to be a runner to experience pain in your shins. The term shin splint refers to pain along the front of the leg that gets worse as exercise is continued and can be aggravated by sitting with your legs crossed for extended periods of time.
Here are some signs and symptoms you may have shin splints:
- You notice a pain worsened when flexing or stretching the front part of your lower leg muscles
- Pain increases while walking up the stairs or running, but subsides while at rest.
- You experience pain while running downhill or on an uneven surface
- Pain gets worse when your legs are fatigued. As you continue to exercise, the pain seems to increase more and more
- The pain may become a dull ache inside the lower leg bone (tibia) with tenderness around the tibia.
Causes of Shin Splints
This kind of pain can result from overuse, but it can also be caused by acute trauma such as a direct blow to the shin or from playing a sport that requires sudden stops and starts or quick changes in direction.
A lot of people get shin splints from just getting back into physical activity after being out for a long time due to injury. The muscles, tendons, and ligaments have atrophied and become weak, so they can’t withstand the stress of exercise anymore.
5 Ways to Treat Sore Shins from Walking
There are five proven methods for how to treat sore shins from walking. Many shin splits will heal on their own over time, but it is possible to recondition the shin muscles with these exercises if needed.
1) Always Remember to Stretch
Start gentle stretching exercises like toe-touching and calf raises for about 10 minutes a day, three times a week. This will help the muscles move more freely and become more pliable and elastic.
2) Strengthen Your Shin Muscles
Strengthen your shin muscles by performing basic exercises like squats and leg lifts. This will help the muscle to become stronger, helping it to better support all of your body weight.
Build up the muscles at the front of your shins by performing exercises like single-leg deadlifts and single-leg squats. You should be able to feel a stretch as you lift one leg off of the ground, but no pain is allowed (a pain-free stretch should be achieved). Exercises like these are very important in building a strong lower leg muscle, which is what you want when walking on hard surfaces.
3) Apply Ice
Apply ice on your shins. Ice is the best way how to treat sore shins from walking because it relieves inflammation and swelling quickly.
After a walk, immediately apply ice to your shin muscles and keep them on until they cool down. Sometimes, you may also want to freeze a bag of corn in advance or use ice packs available at most pharmacies. If you are unable to rest right away, follow this up with ibuprofen.
4) Wear Shoes for Walking
Try to find better shoes for walking on hard surfaces that provide more support and comfort. Many people walk on asphalt, which causes frequent damage to the shin muscles.
Regularly walking in shoes that fit well is important to treating sore shins from walking because it provides support for your ankles and calves. It will also prevent calluses and hernias, especially if you have flat feet or are wearing high heels.
Check the article below to find yourself shoes that fit you:
5) Rest & Recover
Ensure you take enough rest later in the day. When you walk on hard surfaces, it is difficult for your muscles to recover during your normal work day. Therefore, make sure you give yourself a break once an hour so that you are able to keep up with your daily activities for a few hours after each walk.
Sore shins are common but usually manageable. Heeding the advice above can help you keep up your walks when you experience pain from your sore shins.
If the pain doesn’t go away, consult a doctor to pinpoint the cause and get a correct diagnosis. In some cases, shin splints can lead to more serious conditions like stress fractures or compartment syndrome.
If you run regularly and want to read more on sore shins, please check the article below:
Thank you for reading.
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