Preventing Shin Splints While Running

Preventing Shin Splints While Running
Shin splints, also known as medial tibial stress syndrome, is a common running-related injury that may also develop in relation to other high-impact sports and activities. The pain that goes across the front of the leg below the knee is characteristic of shin splints and is caused by an excess of stress on the shin bone, its muscles and its connective tissue. While shin splints can be treated with ice and rest, you can usually prevent them by taking a few simple measures.
 

Instructions

Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Appropriate running shoes
  • Appropriate running shoes
 
Step 1
Find out whether you have any treatable biomechanical problems that contribute to shin splints by consulting a podiatrist for a full foot-strike or gait analysis. This information about your gait will also give you the information you need to purchase appropriate running footwear with the help of an experienced running-shoe consultant or salesperson.
Step 2
Replace your running shoes as they wear out, usually every 350 to 500 miles.
Step 3
Warm up thoroughly before you begin to run in earnest. This helps decrease the chance of shin splints and other injuries. Walking briskly or jogging slowly for 5 to 10 minutes is usually a good warm-up.
Step 4
Stretch after running to help maintain muscle flexibility. You may also stretch during the warm-up part of your exercise if you desire.
Step 5
Cross-train with strength training, especially lower-body exercises, and low-impact sports.
Step 6
Take a break at the first sign of shin pain. This will help prevent shin splints from developing into a severe problem.
 

Tips & Warnings

 
A podiatrist, sports physician or physical therapist may be able to help you adjust your running stride to eliminate or reduce the occurrence of shin splints.

Article Written By Marie Mulrooney

Marie Mulrooney has written professionally since 2001. Her diverse background includes numerous outdoor pursuits, personal training and linguistics. She studied mathematics and contributes regularly to various online publications. Mulrooney's print publication credits include national magazines, poetry awards and long-lived columns about local outdoor adventures.

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