The weather is finally warming up and and many runners will start hitting the pavement! Unfortunately with running sometimes comes shin splints. So, how can you prevent them from occurring or rehabilitate them when they do occur? Read below to find out!
Shin splints, Tibial Stress Syndrome, is a very common condition from overuse with too much activity or an increase in training. Most often, the activity you are completing is high impact and repetitive. This is why most runners suffer from this condition.
What puts you at risk?
Running, especially on hills.
A new runner
Increasing the number of days you train
Increasing your training time or going a longer distance
Participating in exercises that have frequent stops and starts (dance, basketball, gymnastics)
Flat feet or rigid feet
Not wearing the proper footwear
Shin splints are formed by small tears in the muscle around your tibia bone (the shin bone), inflammation of the tissue around your shin (periosteum), general muscle inflammation (anterior tibialis or posterior tibialis) or even a combination of all three. The symptoms of shin splints are characterized as a dull/aching pain in one or both legs that gets worse during and after exercise but feels better with rest.
Ice your shins: Ice several times a day after exercising
Stretching: Calf stretch, foam roll on both calf muscles and shin muscles, and also sit on your legs with your toes flat on the ground and sit back onto your heels. This will give you an intense stretch throughout the front of the leg
Orthotics: Talk to your physical therapist about wearing proper sneakers and if you would benefit from wearing inserts
Strengthening: Balance/proprioceptive work, ankle strengthening and hip strengthening can benefit the overall stability and biomechanics of your entire lower leg