As the weather gets colder, it's important to make sure that you take care of your body while maintaining an exercise routine. You may have heard that muscle pain due to cold weather is fairly common, and many people find that they seem more prone to injury during the winter. Are shin splints and cold weather also connected?
If you've ever experienced shin splints, you know that distinctive pain midway up the front of your leg between your knee and ankle. It's something you want to prevent so you can keep up with your exercise routine. That's why it's important to know when shin splints are most likely to happen and how to prevent them.
What Are Shin Splints?
Shin splints are the non-medical term for the pain you may experience in your shins during physical activity. This pain happens when the tendon behind the shin bone becomes inflamed due to strain or force.
Once shin splints start, it's best to stop the exercise and give your legs some rest. Typically, it will resolve itself in a few days or occasionally up to a few weeks. Rest, ice and over-the-counter pain medicines like ibuprofen can be helpful remedies to relieve the discomfort and help your leg heal.
What Causes Shin Splints?
In winter weather conditions, shin splints can be a significant challenge for many people, especially while exercising. If your leg is being put under significant stress or strain, it can result in tendonitis. Factors such as a muscle imbalance, poor conditioning or the way your step strikes the ground can all be responsible for this strain and inflammation.
One method you can use to help prevent shin splints is making sure you warm up and cool down properly. Building your muscle strength and conditioning can also help protect your body from strain and injury.
How Winter Weather Can Affect Shin Splints
While shin splints can happen at any time of year, cold weather can be a major contributor. Hardened, frozen surfaces during the winter can put more force and pressure on your legs when you're running or doing another physical activity outside. This added pressure can increase shin splint pain or make it more frequent.
Cold weather can also make your muscles tighter and stiffer, which can contribute to leg pain. Your body tries to conserve heat by sending more blood to your core. This causes the blood vessels in your limbs to constrict, resulting in tighter and colder muscles. On particularly cold days, try an indoor exercise routine instead of going outdoors to help protect your tendons and joints.
Reach Out to Dr. Gombera for Sports Injury Treatment
If you're experiencing persistent pain from a sports-related injury, explore your treatment options with Dr. Mufaddal Gombera. Dr. Gombera is a certified and experienced orthopedic surgeon who welcomes patients suffering from hip, knee or shoulder pain. He focuses on providing personalized, expert care to help you get back to an active and fulfilling lifestyle.
Contact Dr. Gombera today to get treatment for your injury.