Shin Splints – Causes And Prevention

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
  • overweight
  • 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.


Alexandra Merisoiu, The Body Engineer, is the Founder of The Merisoiu Technique – Institute Of Health And Human Movement and Dracula’s Retreat. She is also a qualified Low Back Pain Management and Prevention Exercise Instructor and REPS registered.

She specialises in working with runners, beginners and advanced, who want to run faster, further, with less effort and fewer injuries. This is done through natural movement fitness and running technique and mechanics drawn from the many disciplines Alexandra has studies throughout the years, including long distance running.

Since 1995 she has explored how the body and mind works. She has done this through using many different sporting techniques and working with a wide variety of highly respected coaches. Throughout her Martial Arts career she has achieved 3rd Dan Black Belt in Karate Shotokan, runs her own Karate club and is IJKA 2017 triple World Champion, 2016 WMO Martial Arts British National and European Champion. She still competes at an international level.

It is through these learnings, and drawing inspiration from respected natural movement names such as MovNat, IdoPortal and POSE Method of running among many others, that she has created The Merisoiu Technique and has established her own unique transformational programs that incorporate thousands of years of knowledge with Natural Human Movement.

Alexandra’s mission is to challenge the status quo of how to achieve the truly strong, fit and powerful body a runner needs to perform at their best level. This is done through building strong, lasting foundations in the natural outdoor environment; reducing the risk of injuries and educating people on the power of the fundamentals of natural human movement and running mechanics.

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