Shin splints can cause pain and hamper training, but with proper care you can overcome them quickly. Read on to find proven techniques to reduce and eliminate them. This article will give you very easy to follow, step-by-step instructions.
Know what causes shin splints. Shin splints are caused by high impact on your heels, such as hurdling, running, long-jumping, triple-jumping, pole-vaulting, and jump roping. Other factors can also add to them, like old shoes, running surface, excessive training, and running form.
Get new shoes. If you have been running in your shoes for over 3 months, you should consider replacing them. Running shoes take stress off your legs by cushioning every step you take. A good pair of shoes that fits well can help a lot.
Run on soft surfaces. Try to find softer surfaces to run on such as a grassy park or a dirt trail. Running on pavement creates extra stress on your legs. Don’t switch back and forth from hard to soft during the same run.
Rest. If your shin splints have gotten to a point where they hurt even when you’re not training, then you need to take at least a couple days off, maybe a week or two.
Don’t run when it hurts. Don’t run longer than your shins can take. Pay attention to how your shins feel and when you can sense pain stop running and go home. Some days this may happen after you’ve only run a mile; other days you’ll last much longer. Eventually your shins will get stronger and you’ll be able to run as long as you’d like. When your shins need rest, try another activity like biking or swimming. That way you can still stay in shape while not hurting your shins.
Lose weight. Lots of adults in their 20’s begin to gain weight and don’t realize that this is why their shins and knees can’t take as much pounding as they used to. Guess what? Your eating habits have finally caught your metabolism and it’s time to start eating less. If you eat less and continue running, you are bound to lose some weight.
Do feet exercises. Tap your feet up and down while you’re sitting down. When you’re in bed, move your toes back and forth. Exercises such as these help build the muscles around your shins which will support your shins more while you’re running.
Start every run with a shin splint exercise. You’ll go 25 paces angling your feet/ankles in 6 different positions. There are 3 toe exercises and 3 ankle exercises. Jog lightly, on your toes with your toes pointed forward for 25 paces. Then turn your toes in (pigeon toed) and jog, still on your toes for 25 paces. Now turn your toes out and jog on your toes for 25 paces. Now land lightly on your heels with your toes pointed up. First straight forward. Then pointing up and inward, then up and outward. After about 2 weeks, your shin splints should minimize or disappear.
Stretch your calf muscles! Tight calf muscles can contribute towards many lower leg injuries including shin splints. Try stretching the calf muscles, ensuring you target both Gastrocnemius and Soleus, several times a day. Hold each stretch for 20-30 seconds and repeat 2-3 times.
Get some sports massages. Sports massages are fantastic for treating many sporting injuries. They are especially useful for loosening the calf muscles and breaking down any scar tissue.