Natural Home Remedies for Shin Splints

Shin splints, aka medial tibial stress syndrome, is an inflammation of the structures around your tibia caused by excessive stress on the muscles and tendons. There may be other causes, like pronation, so check with a doctor.

Man running on road, pasture, water, mountains in background

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?

  • Lumps along the bone
  • Pain and soreness on the inside of your shinbone
  • Pain during ankle flexion
  • Red patches in the affected areas
  • Swelling in your lower leg

RISK FACTORS

  • Dancing
  • Flat feet
  • Ill-fitting shoes
  • Running
  • Skipping warmups and cool-downs before and after exercise
  • Smoking
  • Working out on hard or uneven surfaces

ALLOPATHIC TREATMENT

Doctors will prescribe first-aid treatment and possibly anti-inflammatory drugs. They may suggest physical therapy.

SELF TREATMENT

FIRST AID

  • Rest
  • Ice the area for half an hour every few hours for a few days, until you experience pain relief.
  • Compression bandages
  • Orthotics
  • Gentle stretching or other gentle exercises: https://www.besthealthmag.ca/best-you/home-remedies/natural-home-remedies-shin-splints/

DIET

It is important that you give your body all the nutrients it needs to heal and that you avoid all those things that promote inflammation and impede circulation.  To promote a healthy immune system, it is important to eat a balanced diet, with as much variety as you can manage, with lots of whole, fresh vegetables and fruits, quality protein and healthy sources of monounsaturated fat.  The Zone is an excellent nutrition plan.

FOODS THAT MAY PROMOTE HEALING

  • Anti-inflammatory foods
  • Bananas
  • Bone broth
  • Pineapple

FOODS AND OTHER SUBSTANCES TO REDUCE OR ELIMINATE

  • Alcohol
  • Processed foods
  • Smoking
  • Sugar

TEAS AND OTHER LIQUIDS

  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Cayenne Pepper tea
  • Cherry juice
  • Fresh pineapple juice
  • Ginger tea
  • Green tea
  • Masala
  • Milk
  • Pickle juice
  • Rooibos tea
  • Rosehip
  • Valerian
  • White tea

HERBS AND SPICES

  • Black pepper
  • Cayenne
  • Cinnamon
  • Clove
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Turmeric paste, topically

ESSENTIAL OILS

Essential oils can be administered via a diffuser for inhalation, administered topically in a carrier oil  (coconut, almond, olive, etc.) and used for massage, or undiluted drops can be added to a hot bath or compress.  Find recipes for blends on the web or create your own.

  • Basil
  • Bergamot
  • Clove
  • Eucalyptus
  • Evening primrose
  • Fennel
  • Frankincense
  • Helichrysum
  • Lavender
  • Patchouli
  • Roman chamomile
  • Rose
  • Thyme

OTHER SUBSTANCES AND SUPPLEMENTS

The cost of having a blood test to determine if you have nutritional deficiencies is likely to be negligible compared to over-consuming expensive supplements that you do not need.

  • Alpha-Lipoic acid
  • Calcium
  • CBD
  • Curcumin
  • Magnesium
  • Omega 3’s
  • Resveratrol
  • Spirulina
  • Vitamins A, B, C, D, E, K

HYDRATION

Proper hydration is crucial for proper healing.  Staying hydrated is fundamental for a healthy body, so how much is enough?  There are so many differences in people (i.e., how much we sweat), as well as the diets we consume (a lot of water comes from healthy, whole foods), but a general rule is to consume enough water that your urine is clear, but not so much that you dilute your nutrients.  If you are taking certain supplements that make your urine yellow, then you can start out with the formula of drinking ½ to one ounce of water for each pound you weigh.  If you weigh 130 pounds, drink 65 to 130 ounces of water a day.  Definitely drink when you are thirsty.

SLEEP

Sleep is the time when your body does its most important healing work.  Studies show that lack of quality sleep affects the production of disease-fighting antibodies.  If you wake in the morning after 7-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep feeling unrested, you aren’t getting enough sleep or you have an underlying health condition.

EMOTIONAL SUPPORT

Stay calm.  Anxiety undermines health.  Practice relaxation exercises, talk to a friend, meditate.  Do what works for you to stay mellow.  Some of the following relaxation methods may be helpful for you:

OTHER THINGS YOU CAN DO

  • Aloe vera topically
  • Coconut oil massage
  • Epsom salt bath
  • Ginger tea compress
  • Massage
  • Wear appropriate shoes for your activity

ALTERNATIVE THERAPIES

CAUTIONS

  • Make sure your pain is not due to a stress fracture or compartment syndrome.
  • Wait until you are healed to resume your workouts.

PREVENTION

  • A wholesome, balanced diet
  • Adequate hydration
  • Strengthen muscles of the legs.
  • Quality sleep
  • Allow time between workouts.
  • Breathe deeply while exercising.
  • Do more than one type of exercise using different muscle groups.
  • Don’t run on slopes or hard surfaces
  • Use orthotics or insoles to correct flat feet or provide extra cushioning for high-impact exercise.
  • Warm up and cool down before working out.
  • Wear proper athletic shoes for your exercise.
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