Shin splint’s area of discomfort typically measures about 10-15 cm. Shin splint is developed when the bone tissues and muscles in the leg are overworked during your runs. It happens over a period of time when constant pounding and stress are placed on the bones, muscles, and joints of the lower legs, resulting to irritation and inflammation which then leads to pain.
Shin splint symptoms could include sharp, razor-like pain which may be felt during and after the exercise. Pain is aggravated when you touch the sore part. Failure to rehab a previous shin splint is likely to have reoccurring problem. Know the proper stretches and the right treatment approach to completely eliminate shin splint symptoms.
Shin splint triggers
The surfaces where you run may trigger shin splints. When your feet pound on hard or inclined areas, it stresses the lower leg which causes inflammation. Downhill running has greater impact to your feet since toes are pointed downward; putting more strain to the muscles in your shins.
Shin splints may also happen when you wear the wrong shoes. Old running shoes are incapable of proper shock absorptions because its arch supports are flattened. Poor shoe support and poor lower limb biomechanics trigger inflammation on the tissues in your lower legs leading to shin splint.
When you put sudden changes on your training’s frequency, intensity or duration, you are also at risk of shin splints.
Shin splint stretches
Treating and preventing splint shins begin with the right stretches on the calf and hamstring areas. Stretches get your lower leg muscles ready for your runs. Here are 2 essential splint shin stretches from SparkPeople.com. Hold each stretch for about 15 seconds, repeating 2-3 times.
Calf stretch: Step forward into a half lunge, toes pointing forward. Your forward leg should be bent and the back leg should be straight. Stretch the calf of your back leg by pressing your heel down toward the floor, keeping the forward leg bent and stationary. You should feel a stretch in the calf of your back leg. Repeat on opposite side.
Hamstring stretch: Begin by standing upright, feet under hips, toes pointed forward. Place the heel of your right forward so that your toes point upward. Keep your back leg slightly bent and abs tight to help with balance. Place your hands on your front thigh. Keeping torso straight, bend over from the waist, lowering your upper body towards your extended leg until you feel a stretch in the hamstring of your front leg. Repeat on opposite side
Fixing biomechanical issues
A physiotherapist can perform thorough biomechanical analysis to pin point the roots of shin splint, if it really is a biomechanics problem that caused the problem. For instance, if found that the condition was because the tibialis anterior muscles and tendons are overstress during activities, you may be recommended to decrease stride length during your runs.
The right running shoes
Since shoes play big roles to treating and preventing shin splints, it is essential to find proper footwear for your runs. Do not use shoes that are worn out. Make sure your footwear properly fits for you. Trails.com evaluated Asics, New Balance, Mizuno, and Brooks as among the best shoes for shin splints.
The Asics GEL series includes Kayano, Nimbus or Evolution which prides their GEL technology that works to absorb shock through responsive conditioning. These shoes provide stability and are built with lacing options that have higher top lacing, giving your more motion control and less chance of ankle rolling.
The New Balance running 850 series shoes use cushioning to reduce shock that causes shin splints. Mizuno shoes are known to competitive marathon and long distance runners and those training for shorter races like 5Ks and 10Ks. Brooks running shoes are recommended for runners who weight over 200 pounds as they are built with sturdy components aim to provide stability.
Shin splint taping
Taping is a known shin splint treatment to athletes. Athletic taping is done by a qualified physiotherapist to pin point the right area were the tape should be applied. It’s a painless process and the adhesive stays on the skin for days even after shower or through sweating.
Seek the right splint shin treatment
If shin splint is left untreated and you continue overtraining, the condition could progress into fractures which may result to longer time of rehabilitation. With this, Sturgeon Valley recommends that you seek help from a physiotherapist the soonest possible time.
You may be recommended to wear athletic taping or a certain rehabilitation program will be customized according to the severity of your condition. Book a no obligation appointment with one of Sturgeon Valley’s qualified physiotherapists to get immediate help for your shin splint.