Shin tightness during running
Shin tightness can cause pain and difficulty while running and walking. Beginner runners and those who have weak leg muscles are susceptible for muscle fatigue and cramping. In addition, running on hard surfaces and wearing improper footwear can cause cramping and tightness of the shin muscles.
The front part of the lower leg is composed of several essential muscle groups. The groups of muscles function in flexing the foot, pulling the toes toward the shin which help with running and walking movements. Overuse or weakness of these muscles can cause cramping, fatigue and tightness. Remember that chronic tightness can result to the development of shin splints. Shin splints cause pain in the shins while running or walking, usually at the front interior aspect of the shin bone.
Cramps are strong contractions of the muscles that usually occur in the legs and feet. The spasmodic muscular contraction causes pain and discomfort. Tightness of the shin is usually involuntary contractions that does not relax and can cause severe pain and can be accompanied by swelling and soreness.
Common causes of tightness of the shin
- The muscles contract in order to protect themselves from injury
- There is limited movement of the affected area in order to make it stabilized and the individual has to stop activities and take some time to rest.
- Performing vigorous activities and muscle fatigue which causes reduction in energy can cause tightness of the shin.
- Engaging in activities that excessively flexes the toes
- Dehydration which causes imbalance in the electrolyte levels triggers changes in the contraction and relaxation of the muscles.
- Low calcium, magnesium and potassium levels in the blood can cause muscle cramps.
Treatment and home remedies for tightness of the shin
- Massage the affected area and then wrap a warm towel around the affected leg.
- Gently flex and extend the feet or it can also be stretched. Stretching the muscles of the skin helps in minimizing the tightness and pain as well as prevents the condition from getting worse. While standing, stretch the muscles by crossing the right leg over the left and put the top of the toes of the right foot on the floor and then bend the left leg and stretch the shin muscle. Stay in this position for 30 seconds at least three times on both the legs.
- Take a warm bath since this helps in relaxing the muscles or cover the hot water bottle with a towel and place it over the affected area.
- Potassium deficiency can cause muscle cramps. It is vital to increase the intake of foods that are rich in potassium such as fresh fruits specifically bananas. In addition, it is important to increase the intake of magnesium and calcium to properly manage the condition.
- Drink plenty of fluids every day at least 10 glasses to help in preventing the development of dehydration.
- After performing any strenuous exercises, it is necessary for the individual to drink some sports drinks that helps replenish fluids and electrolytes that were lost.