I hear the word shin splints and I cringe! It is a common running injury we sometimes get! I know I have written and talked about it before, but I am refreshing your memory to help you out!
MOST COMMON CAUSES:
- Improper or not enough stretching
- Worn out/ Improper shoes
- Running surfaces
- Running form
Having Anterior shin splints, which is towards the outside of your shin muscle, is usually caused by weak calves. Or even not enough stretching and strengthening. Keep your calf muscles strong to avoid anterior shin splints.
TREATMENT FOR SHIN SPLINTS:
- Once you feel shin pain coming on, you should stop running until it heals, or decrease your distance.
- R.I.C.E. I am a big believer in ice therapy for recovery. Rest, Ice, Compress, and Elevate your shins once you feel some pain or discomfort. Wrap some ice packs/frozen peas with an Ace bandage around your shins and elevate them for about 15 minutes.
- STRETCH! STRETCH! STRETCH! Stretching after running with certainly help ease muscles soreness and pain. By stretching your muscles post run, you are allowing them to return to form. I also sometimes do some mild stretching before a run. Usually stretching the muscles I will use most.
- Foam rolling is a BIG help too!!! It helps loosen knots and tight muscles. I always roll my legs before each run and made a HUGE difference!!! I used to get shin splints after 3 miles, foam rolling is part of my routine and have run a marathon pain-free 😉
For Posterior shin splints try
For Anterior shin splints try these
- Another option that keeps my shin splints away, is to wear compression sleeves. If you must run and have recurring shin splints, try wearing some calf sleeves. You can wear them when you run and after. I use Zensah sleeves and they are so awesome!!! I even wear them after a long day of walking around Disney(which is often LOL)
- Cross training instead is also a better option. I know most of you find it hard to not run on scheduled days, but sometimes rest days, or giving time for an injury to recover is best. But cross training like biking or swimming is a great alternative. Obviously when you return from a running break, increase mileage by 10% to prevent the shin splints from returning.
- Having two different pairs of shoes to alleviate the stress when you run can also be effective. Make sure you are getting the proper shoes for YOU.
- Avoid running on hard surfaces like concrete and avoid hills!!! Don’t do any heavy leg work until the pain is gone.
- If you have recurring shin splints, STRETCHING is a must!!!!! ALWAYS stretch your calves and Achilles after a run to prevent them from coming back!!!!!
- USE KT TAPE!!!!! You all know how much I rely on this stuff, but it REALLY works!!! There are a few ways to apply the tape and to what area, but it’s very simple!
Make sure to stay smart and healthy. If your shins are very painful, treating them, and taking some time off would be best. Sometimes the pain does get unbearable and you might need to see a Doctor at that point to make sure there is no stress fracture, or compartment syndrome. It’s better to be safe than sorry! Take care of those legs runners!