Shin splints are a common injury that can occur when running and cause a lot of pain and discomfort. You know just how painful shin splints can be if you are a runner. This post will look at some tips to help you avoid shin splints. It will also talk about what to do if you already have them. So, if you want to stay healthy and prevent shin splints from ruining your running routine, keep reading!
Why Do Shin Splints Happen?
Shin splints can be a frustrating and painful injury, especially for runners. But what exactly are shin splints, and why do they happen? Shin splints typically occur when the muscles and tendons around the shin become overworked. This can be due to repetitive impact, such as running on a hard surface, or sudden changes in activity level, such as increasing your mileage too quickly. The resulting inflammation and pain can make it difficult to continue your normal activities. Furthermore, shin splints can happen when the muscles in your legs are weak or tight. This can cause imbalances that put extra stress on the shinbone and the surrounding tissues. If you have flat feet or high arches, you may also be more susceptible to shin splints since this can affect your foot strike and how your weight is distributed when you run.
What To Do If You Already Have Shin Splints
Several different treatment options are available for shin splints, and the best approach depends on the severity of the injury. For mild cases, rest and ice may be all that is needed to reduce inflammation and allow the body to heal. More severe cases may require physical therapy or even surgery. If you suspect that you have shin splints, it is important to see a doctor so that you can receive an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment. You may also need to modify your activity level or use special exercises to stretch and strengthen the muscles in your legs. This can help prevent shin splints from recurring in the future.
Wear Proper Footwear
One of the best ways to prevent shin splints is to wear proper footwear. Shoes with good arch support and cushioning can help absorb each step’s impact and relieve some of the stress on the shin. In addition, it is important to choose shoes that fit well and provide adequate support for your particular foot type. For example, people with high arches may benefit from shoes with extra cushioning, while those with flat feet may need shoes with firmer support. In addition, depending on your feet, you may also need to use orthotics or other devices to improve the fit of your shoes. Some standard options include arch supports, heel cups, and metatarsal pads. Your doctor or physical therapist can help you choose the proper devices for your feet.
Warm Up Properly
As simple as it may seem, one of the most important things you can do in your efforts to avoid shin splints is to warm up properly before you start running or exercising. A good warm-up will help to increase blood flow to the muscles and tendons around the shin, which will help to prevent inflammation. It would help if you also stretched your calves and hamstrings before you ran. This will help to loosen the muscles and improve your range of motion. Some great stretches include the calf stretch, the hamstring stretch, and the ankle alphabet stretch. Hold these stretches for 30 seconds to give your muscles plenty of time to loosen up.
Use Proper Form When Running
Everyone knows that running is a great way to get exercise, but not everyone knows how to do it properly. Improper form can lead to a host of injuries, including shin splints. Some common mistakes include overstriding, landing on the heels, and crossing your legs when you run. These things can put extra stress on the shins and lead to pain. Instead, focus on running with a midfoot strike. This means you should land on the middle of your foot rather than your heel or toe. Furthermore, when your foot hits the ground, ensure your knee aligns with your second toe. It would be best if you also tried to avoid crossing your legs when you run. This can be difficult initially, but it will become easier with practice. Finally, make sure to swing your arms as you run. This will help improve your balance and keep you from leaning too far forward.
Most runners know the importance of a good training regime to avoid injuries. However, even the most diligent runners can sometimes find themselves sidelined with an injury. One of the most common injuries among runners is shin splints. A simple way to avoid shin splints is to cross-train. By incorporating other forms of exercise into your training, you can help to reduce the risk of shin splints by giving your muscles a break from the repetitive impact of running. Swimming, biking, and elliptical training are all excellent forms of cross-training that can help to reduce your risk of shin splints. So if you find yourself developing shin pain, be sure to mix up your workouts and give your shins a rest.
Run On Soft Surfaces
Shin splints are even more common for those who run on hard surfaces such as asphalt or concrete. Each foot strike’s impact can stress the shinbone, muscles, and connective tissues around it, causing pain. Running on softer surfaces such as dirt trails or grass can help to reduce the risk of shin splints by absorbing some of the impact of each foot strike. In addition, be sure to start slowly and gradually increase your mileage to give your shins time to adjust to the new stresses placed on them. If you don’t have access to dirt trails or grass, you can also try running on a treadmill with the incline set to two or three percent. This will help to reduce the impact on your shins by simulating a softer surface.
Follow This Guide To Avoid Shin Splints!
Shin splints can be a frustrating and painful injury, but there are some things you can do to avoid them. By incorporating all the different tips above, you can help to reduce your risk of developing shin splints. And while you may not be able to avoid them altogether, there are methods to deal with them when they occur. So don’t let shin splints keep you from running and living a healthy lifestyle. Get out there and enjoy your run!