Your lower leg from the knee to your ankle is composed primarily of two major bones. The larger of these two bones is the tibia and the smaller bone is the fibula. Your tibia is frequently referred to as your shin bone. These two bones provide the area where the muscles that control the movements of your foot connect. These muscles are the anterior tibialis that allows you to bend your foot upward and the posterior tibialis that allows you to move your foot in a downward motion.
Excessive stress on these muscles from things like repetitive motion can create a strain on these muscles and when it does the pains from these strains are what are commonly called shin splints. These shin splints are rarely ever serious but if you are having them and they either or not getting well or they seem to be occurring frequently then you need to consider seeking the advice of a health care professional.
Elevation to Reduce the Swelling
You can try elevating your legs to reduce the swelling that is associated with shin splints. You can apply an elastic bandage to the area or a compression sleeve to help with the problem as well. If the bandage is wrapped too tightly it can cause discomfort and even a sensation of numbness in the foot.
Ibuprofen and medications that are designed to help decrease the amount of swelling associated with an injury can provide you a great deal of relief. Always take medications like these exactly as the instructions from the manufacturer indicate unless otherwise instructed by a health care professional. There will also be a suggested daily limit for the number of these medications you can consume in a day. Even over the counter medications can be overdosed and cause serious complications so follow the suggested doses on the packaging.
Cold Compresses can Reduce Swelling
While you have the foot elevated you can apply cold compresses or ice packs to help relieve the swelling. Remember that ice should never be applied directly to the skin and you want to remove the compresses every twenty to thirty minutes to avoid overexposure to the cold.
Rest the Muscles
You will not have to stay completely off of your feet until the shin splints heal but you will need to stop the activity that caused the condition in the first place. You will need to perform activities that do not aggravate the condition and you will need to remember what caused the condition when you return to your full workout regimen.
Shin splints are most commonly associated with activities like running and sometimes the proper footwear is required to stop you from suffering these painful episodes. Make certain the athletic shoes you are purchasing are designed for the type of athletic activity you are engaging in. You should get advice from a doctor concerning the exact type of support you may need if you continue to suffer from the condition even after changing your footwear.