Many people who run regularly experience shin splints at some point in time. Shin splints can be quite painful and can interfere with your training schedule, but you can move past them. Read on to learn more about how you can relieve shin splints.
Causes of Shin Splints
Shin splints are caused by the force of the heel impacting the hard surface of the ground. They often occur when a person engages in high-impact activities that involve running or jumping.
A variety of factors, including running on a hard surface, wearing shoes that are too old or don’t provide sufficient support, training excessively and over pronation can all contribute to the development of shin splints.
Treatment for Shin Splints
The first line of treatment for shin splints is rest. Many runners don’t like to hear this, but if you are experiencing shin splints, you need to take a break.
This is particularly important if your shin splints have progressed to the point that you experience pain even when you are not running. When you do run, be sure to always stretch properly first.
You can reduce the inflammation of shin splints by applying ice to your shins.
Alternating heat and ice is a great way to relax the muscles in the legs. First, apply ice or soak in cold water. Then apply a heating pad or soak in hot water. Massage is another great way to relax the muscles; they help to loosen the muscles and break down scar tissue.
Proper Running Technique
One of the keys to preventing shin splints and recovering from them is to use proper running technique. Before each run, do shin splint exercises. There are six different positions for these exercises, and you’ll jog 25 paces in each position.
- First, point the toes forward and jog on the toes.
- Second, jog on the toes with the toes pointed inward.
- Third, jog on the toes with the toes pointed outward.
Next, jog with the toes pointed upward and land lightly on the heels. Then point the toes inward and upward. Last, point the toes outward and upward.
Stretch the calf muscles before every run and several times a day. Stretch two to three times each occasion, holding each stretch for 20 – 30 seconds.
Avoid hard surfaces like pavement. Try to run on softer surfaces, like grass or dirt trails, instead.
If your shins hurt, don’t run. It’s frustrating to have to take time off of training because of pain, but continuing to run will just aggravate the pain. Switch to a lower impact activity, like biking or swimming, until your condition improves. Once you feel you are ready to return to running, then build it up slowly.
If you suffer from shin splints, your shoes may be to blame. If you live in the UK, you can visit Foot Solutions and their experts will help you to find the right shoes & arch supports to meet your needs, so that your pain is relieved and you are able to continue running.