No More Shin Splints!

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Anyone, especially runners, who has worked out over the years at one time or another has had “shin splints”.  I can’t tell you how many times I would run and my shins would hurt and I would stop in pain and tell my coach I had shin splints.  He along with many other “smart” trainers and such would tell me that I didn’t know what I was talking about because I didn’t know what shin splints really were.  Here is a short list of definitions off the web for “shin splints”…

  • painful inflammation of the muscles around the shins; frequent among runners
  • A slight bulge on the splint bone(s)
  • Minor cracks in your shin bone
  • Damage to one of two groups of muscles along the shin bone that cause pain
  • Inflammation in the lower leg due to mild compartment syndrome

After years of being told I didn’t know what I was talking about I wanna go back to high school and tell my coaches, “You know what shin splints are?  It’s when your freakin’ shin hurts after running!”…and then I would have probably had to run sprints for mouthing off.

In the end when you have minor pain in the front of your shin, the general term used from all of us non-schooled people of the inner workings of the leg is “shin splints”.  More importantly, How do you stop shin splints from splinting?

Back off for a few days. It doesn’t mean you have to stop working out, but clearly you are either putting too much strain on your muscles (like running downhill or running forever in slow motion to that girl on the beach) or you are trying to up your routine too much too fast.  So take it easy and let the girl on the beach run to you.

To prevent shin splints, strengthen your shin muscles so they work more in harmony with your calf muscles.  As with anything in our body IT’S ALL CONNECTED.  Maybe one side of your leg is stronger than the other and it is affecting you badly.  Here is one exercise to get your calves and shin muscles working together:

1. Stand on the edge of a stair or ledge of some kind
2. Slowly raise and lower yourself on the toes and balls of your feet feeling the full range of motion as you go up and down 20-30 times

Don’t be fooled YOU WILL FEEL THIS IN THE MORNING.  If this is too easy or you want more exercises ask a trainer like amy ( [email protected] she loves answering questions like this.

Another reason you may be getting shin splints is your shoes.  Funny enough, I think Amy had this problem.  She was stretching and taking it easy, but she still kept having shin pains (she probably called it something super nerdy like shin inflamation itis osis, ya know… trainer talk).  Ends up after trying everything it ended up that she just needed to change her shoe style to something that fit her foot better and the problem cleared up IMMEDIATELY.  A podiatrist, sports medicine specialist or even a well informed kid at Foot Locker might be able to help you find the shoe that fits you better.

I also have heard of special inserts, called orthotics, that can properly position your feet in your shoes.  Talk to your podiatrist about this because he has got a thing for feet.

In the end it is rather easy to rid yourself of shin splints and even if it requires you to do less it’s for the best.

Have a special way you got rid of shin splints? Leave a message in the comments…

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