What A Pain: Preventing and Treating Shin Splints

If you’re a runner, you’re most likely no stranger to the inconvenience of shin splints. Shin splints can range from tenderness, burning or even a sharp pain in your shin and usually occurs toward the inside lower third of your shin.

There are many sources of shin splints, including weakness in your limbs to incorrect shoes, running environment and training intensity. Your doctor can better assess what aspects of your lifestyle may be contributing to your shin splints.

When the weather warms up, runners are at an especially high risk of developing shin splints. A winter spent on an indoor track or treadmill can lead to issues for runners who hit the hard pavement too quickly. Running on soft surfaces like trails, grass or synthetic tracks is much better on your shins than concrete sidewalks.

In general, it is always best to ease into your training. Here are a few helpful tips to prevent shin splints this summer:

• Strengthen your shin muscles by doing toe raises
• Wear well-fitting shoes and ask a trainer what inserts work best for your foot
• Introduce hills to your workout gradually
• Never increase your mileage or running time by more than 10 percent each week
• Make sure your full foot strikes the ground when you run

If you are already dealing with shin splints, icing the area is helpful – try 15 minutes three times a day and ice immediately after running. If your injury doesn’t respond to self-treatment and rest in two to four weeks, it may be time to see a sports medicine physician.

Contact the Bone & Joint Center today for a consultation: 616.738.3884

Reference: http://www.healthfitonline.com/resources/articles/shinsplints.html