What exactly is a Shin Splint and How is it Caused?
A shin splint can be an incredibly painful thing, it can make working out next to impossible and can cause serious mental stress on a daily basis while you go about your day to day activities.
The medical term for a shin splint is periostitis and the pain you are feeling is actually inflammation of the sheath around your bone tissue, known as the tibia.
Shin splints are essentially caused by the over training and abuse of the calf muscles, where you push the muscle very hard in an intense workout and then don’t allow a sufficient amount of time for muscle recovery before performing a workout that utilises the calf muscle.
This over-training of the calf muscle causes them to be inflamed from the constant flexing of the muscles, which leads to the shin splints.
What Sort of Activities Cause Shin Splints?
It is common in athletes across a variety of sports, all linked by their nature of having repetitive motions and a lot of running. These include but are not limited to; football, soccer, cycling, track running, basket ball and even baseball.
That said you could experience shin splints from undergoing intense cardio as part of your workout routine, however this is much less likely and those who participate in these team sports are much more likely to experience periostitis.
Shin splints are also often experienced by beginners too, this is due to the the massive sudden change in the stress that the muscle is placed under, with beginners pushing themselves beyond their capabilities which as we know, always leads to injury of some kind.
Note: Having flat feet, with it’s accompanying increased stress on the lower legs and calf muscles, increases your chances of getting shin splints, so be sure to plan your workout schedule accordingly and not to over-extend yourself.
Do Compression Socks Help with Shin Splints?
It’s all about the stress you place on the muscle and in this manner compression socks are the perfect solution.
They can be used for both prevention and dealing with/treatment of shin splints. Here we will discuss how compression socks work and how they can be used both as a preventative measure and a remedy for shin splints.
How do Compression Socks Work?
To start, it’s all about blood flow, when the heart is pumping blood to our body it is sending oxygen (and other nutrients) to each part of the body, this provides each body part with the energy to function and is essentially the fuel injection process of the human body.
Ensuring the constant flow of oxygenated blood to your muscles is paramount to ensuring both high performance and avoiding injury.
So how do compression socks improve blood flow?
Essentially with compression socks they provide a tighter fit closer to the calf and ankle with gradually decreasing tightness as it move up the leg, this allows for the walls of your veins and arteries to dilate, increasing the quantity and velocity of both the delivery of blood to the muscle and the return of the de-oxygenated blood and lactic acid to the heart.
This allows for a stabilization of of he muscle and decreased vibrations form muscular activity. In short, improved performance, quicker recovery and a notable decrease in muscle pain and fatigue.
Prevent and Remedy
When worn on a regular basis, it is no surprise that these effects make it much less likely that you will experience shin splints or any other problems related to over training (however don’t take this to mean that you an just over-train anyway, avoiding this will always be the best preventative measure).
Remedy for Pain
In terms of a remedy for the pain, compression socks can also be extremely helpful, both the full compression socks and the footless compression sleeve versions work excellently as they more often than not have targeted supports for the shin and a greater level of tightness around the calf, which as stated earlier improves blood flow.
Th increase in blood flow will not only improve your performance but it will allow your to exercise with the muscle with a huge decrease in pain, this varies from person to person but the majority say that the use of compression socks has drastically reduced the pain they experience.
Some of the higher end compression socks even have silver ions that are weaved into the fabric in order to aid with body temperature regulation.
Enhancement of Endurance
This makes for an enhancement of your endurance coupled with a remedy for your pain and it is very likely that after your muscle has healed, you will want to continue using your compression socks.
All in all, a good investment for cardio lovers a team sports practitioners alike, whether you have experienced injury or not.