Over the past 3 years I have coaches over 100 people. Some of them are still around. Shin splints was one of the problems some of my clients came to me with.
Shin splints is a term used to describe pain in the front of the lower legs, the shins. They are over-use injuries
Shin splints possible causes
- running on hard surfaces
- incorrect running technique
- striking the ground aggressively constantly
- running with the wrong or worn shoes
- weak ankles
- tight calf muscles
- over pronation (foot rolls outwards when it lands on the ground)
- intense periods of exercise when your body is not used to it
- incorrect use of the body (technique when training and how you use your body daily)
Shin splints self care
Running or exercising through the pain can be dangerous. It may not be very painful at the beginning but it can get worse.
- rest, take a break from the activity that causes the pain (you can still do low impact activities or cross training) – this will help you recover faster
- stretch your muscles
- avoid training and running on hard surfaces (I take my clients on the ground when we run and are able to)
- build up your training gradually (throwing yourself into intense training all of a sudden is a recipe for injuries)
- work to improve your ankles strength
- stretch your Achilles tendon and your calves – gently
- mobility and flexibility (essential for a fit and strong body)
- foam rolling calves – gentle (it works for some people)
- ice (no more than 10 min at a time and not on direct skin, 3 times a day)
- replace worn out shoes
Shin splints prevention
Here are some guidelines
- avoid running on hard surfaces all the time
- make sure your shoes are correct for you
- change shoes when they worn out
- stretch Achilles tendon and calves muscles
- stretch your whole body in fact
- foam rolling – calves, glutes, quadricepts, hamstrings, everything, it’s good to release tension in the body
- variation of movement – don’t stick with the same routing for months, practice different activities to train your body from different angles
- correct training errors – you need an experienced Coach for this; the way you use your body not only when exercising but throughout your day can, in time, lead to overuse injuries (here is an example)
These are just some general guidelines. I hope this will help you. Leave a comment below if they did.
Things for you to try and see how they work. For some people some things work while others don’t. If you seek advice I’d be more than happy to talk to you. Message me here.
Of course if the pain gets worse or swelling gets worse see a doctor, it can be more serious.