Many runners, especially beginners and those in training, experience painful shin splints. While this injury can occur in other sports, it is very common in runners. Shin splints cause pain in the front outside or back inside of the calf or shin. This pain is caused by tighten calf muscles combined with weaker shin muscles that have been pushed to the limit. To reduce the occurrence of shin splints, try these runner tips:
- Wear good shoes. Supportive running shoes can help prevent shin splints. Once the cushion inside wears down, you may not be getting enough support or shock absorption.
- Run on soft surfaces. Pavement and cement are tough on your muscles, tendons and joints. Try to run on softer trails and surfaces whenever possible.
- Avoid over-training. Pushing yourself too hard, too fast can factor into the appearance of shin splints, especially in beginners. Trying to increase your miles or speed too quickly can overwork your muscles – increase your training slowly.
- Recovery is important. Over-training and too little recovery time are rookie mistakes. Give yourself a day or two of rest between long runs to let your muscles and joints recover.
- Stretch your calves. After your run, always do a good calf stretch to loosen muscles. Also, if you begin to feel your calf muscle tighten or become painful during your run, stop and do a quick stretch to prevent injury.
If you experience shin pain from running or sports, it is often shin splints. Icing the area for 15 minutes every few hours can help reduce the pain. However, if the pain persists, you may have a more serious injury to your leg. Consult with sports orthopedic specialist to examine your injury.
Posted on behalf of:
Ortho Sport and Spine Physicians
5730 Glenridge Drive Northeast #230
Atlanta, GA 30328
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