One of the most painful injuries that a hiker can experience is something known as shin splints. It is a common injury with hikers, cross country runners, backpackers, joggers, sprinters, and even military recruits, all of whom are more prone to injury when they are new to the activity or when increasing the amount of activity that they are doing. While each of these sports and activities are different, the common denominator is that they all put a high impact, repetitive load on their legs. Military recruits, backpackers, and hikers also add increased carry weight to the equation, making them even more likely to sustain lower leg injuries. However, it is possible to prevent shin splints through proper lower leg training.
The term shin splints is often used to describe any pain that occurs between the knee and the ankle that is induced by exercise or activity. Medial tibial stress syndrome is another term that is often used to describe the same pain, particularly pain around the shin bone and muscles throughout the lower leg. Shin splints recovery is oddly similar to the exercises suggested to prevent shin splints, so it can be important for hikers, backpackers, and other similar types of athletes to spend some time increasing lower leg strength through strategic exercises aimed at lower leg training and injury prevention. While there can be many causes, prevention and recovery are just about the same.
Treatment for Shin Splints Recovery
The first thing you will be told to do is to stop all of your normal physical activity until the pain goes away. That means no running, jogging, hiking, or backpacking. The average healing time for shin splints recovery is 71 days; however, some people heal faster, while others can take a little longer. Cross-training with other no-impact activities can be recommended, especially if there are concerns about staying fit for a competition, marathon, or another upcoming event. Lower leg strength is safely maintained through the use of ShinTekk, which is frequently used for shin splints recovery just as much as it is used to prevent shin splints from happening in the first place. Lower leg training can be done daily, either sitting or standing, providing the user with great results.
If proper treatment is not received, a simple case of shin splints can result in stress fractures and other related lower leg injuries, requiring longer recovery periods. Sometimes an additional four to six week recovery period is required to increase lower leg strength and prevent further injury from occurring. When properly rested and healed, hiking and trail running can be resumed after a few months. While there are additional treatment options, including icing and the use of anti-inflammatory pain relievers, it is important to seek professional medical assistance if relief does not come in a few weeks. In some cases, an x-ray or bone scan may be required to rule out more serious situations.
How to Prevent Shin Splints
The best way to treat shin splints is to prevent them from ever happening by staying on top of lower leg training and increasing lower leg strength to ensure that you do not sustain a lower leg injury. In addition to staying on top of shin strengthening exercises, experts recommend replacing shoes that become worn down, using arch support for flat feet or feet with a high arch and varying the running surface. For example, if you run on concrete all the time, consider running on grass or dirt trails as an alternative. Stay healthy, make sure you have enough vitamin D and consider getting your bone density checked by a physician if you have serious concerns about shin splints recovery or lower leg strength.
Incorporate daily exercises, such as the lower leg training opportunities with ShinTekk. This device is fun and easy to use, either sitting down or standing up. The user simply needs to slide their foot underneath the U-bar and lift their toes upward at the ankle, while keeping the heel firmly planted on the base of the device. It is easy to build lower leg strength in each leg while using the suggested workout regimens. The resistance bungees should be changed out to the next level as your training level progresses. The type of shoe does not matter, in fact, you can simply wear socks, formal shoes, athletic shoes, running shoes, or whatever you happen to have lying around at the house.
The ShinTekk Performance Pack has a backpack included, allowing you to take the device with you wherever you want to go. Get pricing and ordering information by visiting: www.shintekk.com/shop/ and make sure to read our How It Works section for details.