HOW TO PREVENT SHIN SPLINTS

Wrong shoes are also another cause of shin splints. Always go for the shoes that offer more stability and cushioning. You can also take advice from experts about which shoes to buy. 

Replace your shoes after 350 to 500 miles. Because most shoes lose cushioning when used for a longer time. Lost cushioning is also another cause of shin splints. That is why consider replacing your shoes every 350 to 500 miles. In this article, we will discuss the causes and how to prevent shin splints.

Shin splint is also known as medial tibial stress syndrome (MTSS). The pain is in the front side of the lower leg and sometimes at the sides of the lower leg, next to the shin bone, called the tibia. 

This pain is due to when there is much stress on the tibia. In addition to that, the muscles near the tibia are overworked. It usually happened to the people involved in high-energy exercises and sports such as running. 

Shin splints are more common in runners, military recruits, dancers, and athletes. 

Tips to Prevent Shin Splints

Are you a runner? So Do you suffer from shin splints?

Do you want to treat this problem? The best treatment is the prevention of the problem, but before that, it is essential to know the causes of shin splints. When you get to know about the reasons, then it will be easier to prevent shin splints.

Causes of Shin splints

The most common causes of shin splints are 

Aggressive Activities

You were overdoing high-impact activities such as running on hard or inclined surfaces that cause strain on your muscles, which leads to shin splints.

Wrong Techniques

It is using the wrong techniques while running is also a reason for shin splints. Such as ankles roll in and feet roll towards the edge. It causes your front muscles to work hard, which puts pressure on the muscles; when you push off with toes, that also puts too much strain on shins.

Over Work

Usually, beginner runners will build their mileage or strength by increasing their distance or speed, leading to injury. That is why we recommend building mileage by slowly and gradually increasing distance and speed.

Avoid Landing with Heels

Always avoid landing on the surface with heels as this also can lead to injury. Land on the floor with a straight leg.

Running the Downhill

When going down the hills to slow themselves down, runners land on the heels. It has a significant effect on the muscles and puts tremendous strain on the lower legs, which can cause shin splints.

Forefoot Running

When runners run on the forefoot, this also puts the load on shin muscles. Therefore, run on midfoot.

Prevention of Shin Splints:

As you know the causes now, let’s discuss how to prevent shin splints. 

1: We are increasing the mileage slowly.

Shin splints are because of overuse. When beginner runners increase their mileage, run too quickly, or cover longer distances without rest, that strains muscles and leads to shin splints. 

To prevent shin splints, increase your mileage slowly and if you feel pain, let your body rest and recover.

2: Avoid running on hard surfaces.

Running on hard surfaces puts too much pressure and strain on the muscles, joints, and bones. 

When you want to run for longer distances, run on grass or dirt trails and avoid concrete surfaces. 

3:Take Time to Rest

If you are a beginner runner, always avoid running for two consecutive days. Even if you are an expert runner, rest one or two days a week. When you take a rest, your body will get the chance to recover, limiting the pressure on your joints, bones, and muscles.

4: Try to do Cross-Training

Cross-training is essential on the days when you take a rest from running. Consider doing some lighter exercises that put less or no stress on your joints and muscles, such as swimming and jogging.

5: Right Running Shoes

Wrong shoes are also another cause of shin splints. Always go for the shoes that offer more stability and cushioning. You can also take advice from experts about which shoes to buy for shin splints.

Replace your shoes after 350 to 500 miles. Because most shoes lose cushioning when used for a longer time. Lost cushioning is also another cause of shin splints. That is why consider replacing your shoes every 350 to 500 miles. 

6: Technique Analysis

Wrong jumping and running techniques also lead to shin splints. Get your process analyzed by a physical therapist. Your therapist will tell you how to improve your running style to avoid shin splints. Your physical therapist will also guide you about your different exercises to stretch and strengthen your muscles. 

7: Maintain the Weight

Try to maintain your body weight because increased weight and obesity can lead to shin splints, as with higher weight. There are higher chances of shin splints.

8: Try Strength Training

Shin splints also occur because of weak tibialis muscles. This muscle is responsible for flexing the foot at the ankle. You can start having pain if your muscles are ineffective. You increase the distance of run too quickly, especially if you are new to running. 

But you can strengthen your muscles by doing simple exercises. We have shared a few practices and stretching techniques below to help you to improve your strengths. 

Common Exercises and Stretches:

The standard exercises that people do to prevent and treat shin splints are as follows. 

Toe Raises

You do not need any equipment to do toe raises. Toe raises are easy to do, and you can do them anywhere. Doing toe raises a few times a week will strengthen your tibialis muscles and prevent shin splints. 

Here is how you do toe raises.

  • Stand on the step and keep your toes hanging on the edges. 
  • Hold anything for balance like a chair, wall, or railing. 
  • Extent your toes from the edge as much as possible. Only your heels should be on edge. 
  • Pull your toes in an upward direction towards your shins and hold this position for a few seconds. You will start feeling the contraction in your anterior tibialis. 
  • Now release and slowly put your toes in starting position.
  • Repeat the same process with the other foot. 
  • At least do two to three sets (12 repetitions) of each side.

Heel Raises

Heel raises are also very easy to do and can easily be accessible. 

Here is how you can do heel raises.

  • Stand on the ground with your feet hip-distance apart. 
  • Hold anything for support.
  • Lift your heels and hold this position for two counts. You will feel that your calf muscles are tightening. 
  • Slowly come to starting position and repeat.

You can also do heel raises one leg at a time to increase strength and stability. 

You can also do stretching to prevent and treat shin splints.

Gastrocnemius calf stretch

Here is how you do gastrocnemius calf stretch

  • Stand in the ground and hold the wall for support. 
  • Put your one leg behind. Keep your leg straight and heels on the floor. 
  • Bend the knee of the other leg until you feel a stretch on the calf of your back leg. 
  • Keep your back straight throughout. 
  • Hold this position for at least 30 seconds and repeat 2 to 3 sets. 
  • You can do this stretch three times a day to achieve good results. 

Calf Soleus Stretch

  • Stand holding a wall with one hand
  • Place one leg behind you
  • Lean forward bending both knees
  • Keep your heels on the floor
  • Hold this stretch for 30 seconds
  • Repeat this with the other leg.
  • Do this three times a day.

Seated Shin Stretch

This stretch mainly targets the muscles of the lower leg. 

  • Begin this stretch by kneeling position. Sit gently so that your heels should be beneath your glutes and your knees are in front of you. 
  • Place your hands on the floor behind you and lean back slightly.
  • Push down on your heels by using all your body weight until you feel the stretch.
  • Lift your knees off the ground to feel the pressure.
  • Hold this position for 30 seconds. Repeat this three times. 

RICE Method

RICE is a standard method to treat injuries at home, especially shin splints. It stands for Rest (R), Ice (I), Compression (C), and Elevation (E).

Rest:

when you have any injury, swelling, or pain, taking rest from all activities will help your body to recover and also will relieve you from pain. In shin splints, you can also take a rest from all the activities to treat it. You can also try low-stress exercises such as swimming until you feel good. You should see a doctor if your condition is severe. Do not resume your actions until you are magnificent. Medical experts usually recommend two weeks of rest even after the recovery. 

Ice:

placing ice packs also helps to treat injuries and pain. Place ice packs on shins for 25 minutes will relieve pain. Do not directly place ice but wrap it in the towel. Do it seven to eight times a day for several days until you recover.

Compression:

This is another method to treat pain. Wear a calf compression sleeve to reduce inflammation around your shins.

Elevation:

When you do icing on the shins, elevate them to reduce inflammation. You can elevate them by putting your legs on a pillow or chair.

Conclusion:

Shin splints are the most common type of injury in runners. But the good thing is that shin splints are prevented by following easy and simple procedures like resting if you feel any pain, wearing the right shoes, and maintaining weight. 

Shin splints can go on their own by simply doing the RICE method. Other exercises and stretches explained in this article are also very helpful for preventing and treating shin splints. But you should consult a doctor if shin splints do not go away with these stretches and exercises. 

We hope that this article has provided you with enough information on how to prevent shin splints, and you can avoid this problem by following the things described in the report.

FAQs:

Shin splints are caused by overloading your muscles, tendons, and shin bones. If you do too much activity and training, you get this problem. Some activities are very high impact, which puts stress on your muscles, joints, and bones and results in shin splints. 

No shin splints do not go away if you keep running, but it will worsen the problem and eventually see a doctor. Shin splints can go away with simple treatment methods at home like taking rest, icing, and stretching.

Since shin splint is an injury caused by overload, when you start having this pain, you should start reducing your high-impact activities to rest your muscles. Replacing Walking and running with swimming and biking will help to relax your muscles and heal them.

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