What is shin splints?
When you are running, do you suffer from pain and/or throbbing in your shins? You could be suffering with shin splints or professionally known as medial tibial stress syndrome. If you are suffering from this you are likely to suffer from pain at the start of your exercise that then eases. This pain then re-appears during your cool down. There are a variety of different causes for shin splints; but often when you suffer with this pain you don’t successfully manage your symptoms or eradicate the problem.
What causes shin splints?
There are many things that can lead to shin splints; think about the list below and try to see how they fit in with your shin pain.
- Flat feet – this will cause an over-pronation of your feet, leading to a change in running biomechanics. This can also change the amount of stress going through the tibia.
- Poor footwear – changing your footwear to help with stability can reduce the pain you suffer with.
- Lack of strength in the posterior chain – weakness in the glutes and calf muscles and lead to a reduced stability. In turn, increasing stress.
- Sudden increase in load
How can I manage my symptoms?
The best thing that you can do is to rest. Allow your symptoms to settle down, to help with pain you will want to ice the area. From here you will want to address the root cause of the problem. Start by addressing how far you are running per week, then see if you had a sudden increase in your distances. Then you will want to see how your footwear is. Is it suitable for what you require? If you are unsure you should go to a running shop as these will be best suited to give advice!
Your next step in recovery would be to work on your strength and bio-mechanical control. Get yourself booked in to, firstly, find out if you are indeed suffering with shin splints. Secondly, put together a detailed exercise plan that will help to rehabilitate you back to full fitness.
Is it possible to prevent it?
There are strategies that you can put into place that will help to prevent the onset of shin splints. This revolves around strengthening specific muscles in the body. To get the best outcome, you will want to contact a professional to make sure what you are doing is suited for you.
Prevention will stick to the idea of increasing calf and soleus strength, and increasing core stability. From there the glutes will need to be assessed for their strength and activation levels, whilst your balance will need to be worked on too.
Shin splints is very common, don’t suffer in silence, treatment is easy and you will be running pain free again in no time!