If you’ve ever engaged in any kind of physical activity that involves high impact to the joints, chances are you would have experienced the pain of having shin splints.
Running is often the main sport that causes shin splints, but any activity that involves repetitive hitting of your feet on a hard surface may cause this as well.
Typically, shin splint sufferers are those who have just begun a sport, or resumed physical activity after a long period of inactivity. But regular athletes and those who exercise frequently can also suffer from shin splints when they suddenly amp up or increase the intensity of their activity.
Symptoms of shin splints
Shin splints, otherwise known as medial tibial stress syndrome, is a chronic overuse condition. Symptoms of shin splints usually are pain in the front of your shin or around the shin bone whenever you are running or doing physical activity. Some shin splint sufferers report that they only feel the pain while running or being active, and the pain goes away when they stop. There are some who still feel the pain long after exercising.
The pain felt when you have shin splints can be sharp and razor-like, and it can also be the throbbing kind. Usually the pain is aggravated when you touch the sore spot.
Typical causes of shin splints
Shin splints affect the muscles, tendons and the shin bone.. It can be an indicator that you’re putting too much stress on your tibial bone (shin bone). This is why shin splints are often associated with running. However, it’s not exclusive to any kind of sport, but these are some common reasons of shin splints:
- Sudden increase or change in sport intensity
- Wearing improper footwear or running shoes without proper cushion
- Repetitive stress on the foot
- Running or exercising on hard surfaces like cement
Cure and relief for shin splints
The good news is shin splints can be prevented and you can treat it without surgery.
Ice therapy is the immediate and most important solution for treating shin splints.
Applying cold therapy to treat shin splints will help decrease in fluid build-up and swelling. It will help constrict blood vessels by slowing down the metabolism of the cells.
The RICE method (rest, ice, compression and elevation) is a time-tested remedy that you can do at home to treat your shin splints.
You first need to stop and take a break from physical activity (rest), and then apply cold therapy to the shins (ice) at least four times a day for the next few days or until the pain subsides. Then you need to apply pressure (compression) to help reduce inflammation around your shins. Finally, you then need to have your shins raised (elevation) in order to decrease swelling.
What kind of ice packs are best for shin splints?
So now comes the million-dollar question: What is the best ice pack for your shin splints?
A cursory Google search will tell you that you can make your own ice pack. Sure, you can do that—for minor bumps and bruises perhaps, but for shin splints? Don’t even waste more time and energy.
Shin splints can be treated from home, but you have to make sure that you are equipped with quality equipment.
As we are in the pain relief business, we’ve seen all kinds of ice and gel packs for cold therapy, and, frankly, not all of them work effectively.
To save you valuable time and money, we’ll describe the five features an ice pack should have to best treat your shin splints.
The 5 things a great ice pack needs to treat shin splints
The ice pack stays flexible when cold
Next to our thighbone, the shin bone (tibia) is the second longest bone in our body. It is also straight without any joints. It may sound inane to state the obvious but it’s helpful when making a choice about what kind of ice pack to use for shin splints: Make sure that the ice pack is not just flexible before freezing, but immediately after as well so you can perfectly wrap and mould them around your shins.
Why is it important for an ice pack to be flexible? This is to ensure that all parts of your shin have direct contact with the ice pack. Cold therapy is evenly spread throughout the painful area for maximum cold penetration.
The ice pack comes with straps
If you want to still be mobile and hands-free while icing your shins, you need to look for shin ice packs with straps. There are many ice packs out there with straps but some, like Magic Gel’s Shin Gel pack, has taken it one step further by making these straps adjustable. The ice pack itself measures at 20 centimetres wide and 23 centimetres long, and with the Velcro straps open, it measures at 46 centimetres long. This means that this ice pack fits both male and female runners comfortably. No calves are too wide for our straps – every shin will be perfectly snug and covered.
The adjustable Velcro straps not only make the ice pack fit snugly on the shins, but they also ensure that you are giving your shins tight compression whilst applying cold therapy. So, this essentially means that you are doing two out of the four RICE steps at the same time.
The ice pack comes with cryoball therapy
Here at Magic Gel, we like creating things that exceed expectations. Our Shin Splints Ice Pack comes with an ice-cold cryoball. Cryotherapy is the use of extreme cold as treatment, and the cryoball is a convenient tool that allows for hours of deep massages to the shin.
Used in conjunction with shin splints ice packs and resistance band training, this will get you back on your feet faster and fitter than ever before.
The ice pack comes with strength training equipment
For effective healing of shin splints, you must also strengthen the muscles and joints that surround your shins. Ask any physical therapist and they will tell you that resistance bands are crucial to complete recovery of shin splints. This is because stretch bands help strengthen and lengthen the muscles surrounding your shin.
The total ice pack package works like physiotherapy
When looking to choose which kind of ice pack is best for shin splints, you must have a goal in mind: Are you after just instant pain relief or do you want long-term recovery from your shin splints?
We know what it’s like to have debilitating pain from injury such as shin splints, so we created a product that cares for you beyond just pain relief.
Magic Gel’s Shin Splint Ice Pack should be called a “shin splint recovery kit” because not only does it come with two shin ice packs, but it also comes with a cryoball, a stretch resistance band, and a 10-page laminated instructional booklet for a complete 12-step progress guide to be shin splint-free.
If followed carefully, you can be completely free of shin splints pain in just three to seven days.
We hope that the tips above have enlightened and guided you in choosing the kind of ice pack you need for your shin splints. If you have any questions, be it about pain relief or our products, please send us a note!