When your legs can’t run anymore, run with your heart.
It feels like half the runners I come in contact with have shin splint complaints.
Now I’m not a physical therapist but what most of you don’t know is I have a degree in health, exercise, and sports science and worked as a physical therapy tech, X-Ray tech, and chiropractic therapy assistant. I want to share some of my knowledge with you once a week and touch on a popular injury that most runners get. Plus, I love this kind of stuff!
This week, if you haven’t already guessed, is shin splints.
If your shins throb and ache after a run, or just simply on the regular, you might be suffering from shin splints. Don’t worry these can affect literally anyone from beginner up to a marathon runner.
Shin splints, also known as medial tibial stress syndrome, could be caused by small tears or inflammation. I will say it is important to really take care of this if you have it because it could turn into something a lot more serious, such as a stress fracture.
Shin splits usually occur when you take on too much, too soon. It could also be from muscle imbalances, overpronation, over worn or not the right shoes, not stretching, different running terrains, or just simply ramping up your intensity to quickly.
Treating shin splints isn’t an overnight thing. Your body is reacting from the stress you have put on it so take special care to rebuild and recover. Here are some tips for recovery:
- Rest. This allows your body to rebuild and get stronger.
- Strengthen. Shin splints could be cause of weak hip abductors or calves. Take some time to focus on doing exercises to strengthen muscles that could attribute to your pain.
- Ice. This is such a go-to for bringing down swelling and easing your pain.
- Check your shoes. Some questions I always ask are…how many miles do you have on your shoes? How long have you had them? Were you fitted for them? Most of the time a quick change in shoes makes a BIG difference.
- Compression socks. These are awesome to really get the blood circulation to that area.
- Stretch. Those muscles are tight and need to be stretched. I will go ahead and add foam rolling or using the stick in this because this will help loosen up the calf muscles as well.
- Ibuprofen. Take as directed.
- Cross Train. You can still be active without running and putting stress on your shins.
- Go see a doctor. I can give you all the advice in the world but if it gets to the point where it could be more than a shin splint pain, go see a doc.
If you have any questions on shin splints let me know and I’ll try to answer what I can! (or I definitely know someone who can answer)
Also, let me know if you are struggling with a running injury or ailment and I’d love to give my own personal tips in a future post!!
Should be noted: I am NOT a doctor. These are my own personal tips.