Shin Splints from Walking and What to Do About Them
You started walking more, and you notice this uncomfortable pain in your shins. Welcome to the world of shin splints from walking. It is a pain in the butt to deal with but none the less, you need to keep walking, and we want to help you do that. The scary thing about developing shin splints from running is that if you progress in your activity for faster walking or running, they will only get worse.
Symptoms of Shin Splints from Walking
- Walking becomes painful for lower legs
- Hurts to touch shins
- Posterior tibialis is so tight that it is sore to touch
The symptoms of shin splints from walking are not always that evident at first. Shin splints tend to sneak up on you slowly because it is an overuse injury. One day when walking you will begin to feel slight pain, but it never starts off bad enough to stop or think you are injured.
That is where the problem lies. You keep walking and even increasing your volume of walking, and the pain gets worse. The key to fighting an overuse injury is remembering that these pains don’t go away magically. If you want the pain of shin splints from walking to go away, you have to do something about it.
Causes of Shin Splints From Walking
The cause of this injury is too much stress on the shaft of your tibia bone. The added stress often comes from a poor walking form or weak muscles in the lower leg. If you are walking a lot in flip-flops, for example, the improper footwear makes your feet work hard to grip on to the slippers, so they don’t fall off. Doing this makes your feet, and lower legs work harder and tire quickly causing the shin to stress quicker.
The second cause is weak muscles in the lower leg. We will talk about this solution a bit later, but the problem stems from those muscles not being strong enough to take the stress you put on your legs from walking. The bad news is that you have to work to change this, the good news is that this can be fixed.
Treatment for Shin Splints from Walking
- Find an excellent sports medicine provider on 9INE POINT Health
- Decrease amount of walking done per day
- Tibialis anterior and posterior strengthening
- Ice for acute pain day to day
- Use of orthotics
- Walk in better shoes
- Rehab routine
- Improve posture when walking
Decrease Walking Volume
If you do decide to go this route, it should only be temporarily to get the pain to go away as you get treatment or do rehab. If you use this as a long-term solution, before you know it, you will no longer be walking at all.
Sometimes problems can start with increasing volume too quickly. If you have not been walking all and then all a sudden you walk 5 miles a day that may be too much too fast. Instead only increase your volume once your body has adapted to the capacity you are currently at. By increasing your volume slowly, you greatly reduce your risk of shin splints from walking.
Is another example of a temporary fix. The purpose of ice is to reduce pain and inflammation. The problem is that ice does not fix the cause of shin splints. The ice acts as a band-aid. You can use ice when you deem it necessary but your best bet is going to be to fix the cause of your injury.
Walk in Better Shoes to Prevent Shin Splints from Walking
Think about all of the shapes of feet in the world:
- Skinny Feet
- Long Feet
- Wide Feet
- Long Toes
- Short Toes
- Chubby Feet
- Flat Feet
- High Arches
One of the best reasons to see a health care provider is to get help choosing the shoes that are best for your feet. Shoes that fit your feet right will make a huge difference in all of your lower leg pain because your feet are the contact point with the ground. All force generated to move your body forward comes through your feet.
Rehab Routine for Shin Splints From Walking
Doing rehab by far is going to be the most work, but it is going to be one of the most long-term fixes. A big reason you are experiencing shin splints from walking is that your lower leg muscles are weak. If you sit down a lot, your lower leg muscles do not have to do much stabilization. Once you start walking more, they now have to do work they are not used to doing, and they get tired quickly.
The exercises below are great examples of things you can do to increase the strength and stability of your lower legs. These exercises target these main muscles:
- Shin Muscle (tibialis anterior)
- Shin Muscle Behind Tibia (tibialis posterior)
All of the exercises are meant to be done with control and should always be done with a comfortable weight or resistance to begin. The goal is to strengthen the muscles over time slowly.
What If You Can’t Heal Your Shin Splints From Walking On Your Own?
Sometimes you can ice all you want, but a muscle is in pain because another area is not working or because it is protecting you. With the hips, for example, your back may be hurting because your psoas is doing too much work and it is also tight. The psoas may be doing too much work because your other hip flexors are not activating correctly. The chain reaction could keep going.
Sometimes you need the help of a sports medicine provider. Sports medicine providers are used to working with athletes that need to get results quickly, to get back on the field. If you are not an athlete, I am sure that you still want quick results.
There are many different options you can go with when looking for a provider. You could get a chiropractor, massage therapist, physical therapist or many other options. The key is finding someone you trust and that you are excited to work with.
How to Find The Best Healthcare Providers for Shin Splints from Walking
9INE POINT Health is the best place to find the health care providers you need for any injuries. It does not matter where you are hurting; a 9INE POINT Health provider will be able to get you healthy again. 9INE POINT allows you to find the best local providers and compare them quickly using the 9INE POINT Number.
If you have no idea what you need, but you know you need something, 9INE POINT Health is an injury guide, and you will get helped through the process. We make it easier for you to find the information and the person you are looking for to help with your shin splints from walking.
Skills to Look for in a Healthcare Provider for Shin Splints from Walking:
- Active Release Technique
- Graston Technique
- Fascial Stretch Therapy
- Corrective exercises
- Dry Needling
- Sports Background
- Functional Movement Screen
- And more
KHO Health was acquired by was acquire by 9INE POINT in the summer of 2019 and is now referred to as 9INE POINT Health.