How to avoid long term damage with shin splints

November 12, 2012

How to avoid long term damage with shin splints

Shin splints is a painful condition which is common amongst runners and it is caused by the muscles connecting to the shin bone suffering because of the pressure continually put on them. If a runner suffers from shin splints then extra stretching and preventative exercises may help and some rest will normally be needed. The cause of the condition can be diverse, from poorly fitting running shoes to training too hard or for too long.

The secret is to identify what the cause is of developing shin splints. Finding the trigger allows the runner to react in manner to avoid the pain whether it is going on to a lighter training regime or something as simple as changing their running shoes. Often shin splints is caused by insufficient stretching before the running starts and this would cause pain to be felt right at the start of the run. If the pain comes towards the end of a long run then perhaps cutting down the miles is the answer and if your feet are sore too then perhaps it’s time to invest in a new pair of running shoes.

The first thing to do if you are suffering from shin splints is to rest, this advice comes from the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. They say that the rest is needed to allow the inflamed tissue to heal and if the healing process is not given time then the condition will only get worse and require more time to recover. Sometimes the amount of rest needed can be as short as a few days but if you don’t listen to your body then you may be out of action for a lot longer.

The treatment is common to many running ailments, just rest and elevate the foot and apply an ice pack to help to minimize swelling.

Once you have rested the right amount of time and you are slowly getting back into your running then always ensure that enough pre exercise stretches take place. A good stretching routine at the beginning and the end of the training session can help runners to avoid shin splints. Calf muscles and other lower leg muscles should be targeted and wall push-ups with feet flat on the floor are good.

Now is the time to check the shoes too, maybe you need new shoes but maybe you only need heel cushions or other heel supports. And don’t forget to build up the distance slowly.

The fact that a competition is looming is not a good enough reason for overdoing things and perhaps leaving yourself out of training for a lot longer than if you had listened to your body. Shin splints can be very painful and will not recover if they do not get the correct amount of rest. Other tips which may help include strengthening the muscles in the lower leg or do more low impact training such as swimming or cycling.

Category: Articles