Don’t Let Shin Splints Deter Your Running Routine
Now that spring is here, some of us may have already laced up our shoes and hit the pavement. Whether you are training for a 5k or improving your cardiovascular endurance, we begin to up our mileage. We may start to notice a throbbing pain in our lower legs that hinders us from taking one more step. This could mean you are suffering from shin splints.
Shin splints, also know as medial tibial stress syndrome, (MTSS), causes pain or tenderness along the inner edge of the shinbone (tibia). Shin splints can occur in athletes who have recently changed or reinforced their exercise routine. Constant overuse from running and exercise can lead to inflammation of the muscles and tendons that attach to the tibia.
Some factors that can cause shin splints:
· Having flat feet (over-pronated)
· Wearing improper or worn out footwear
· Tight calves
· Just beginning an intense running program
· Running on uneven terrain such as hills
How can I treat my shin splints?
In most cases, you can treat shin splints with the following self care steps:
Rest: Avoid activities that causes sharp pain or swelling. Try low impact exercise such as bicycling or swimming.
Ice: Apply ice packs to the affected shin for 15 to 20 minutes at a time. To protect your skin, wrap the ice packs in a thin towel or a pillow case.
Heel raises: Stand with your feet a few inches apart, with your hand lightly resting on a counter or chair. Slowly raise your heels off the floor, keeping your knees straight, slowly lower heels to floor.
Straight Leg Calf Stretch:
Stand facing a wall with your arms straight in front of you and your hands flat against the wall. Keep your right leg forward, foot flat on the floor, and extend your left leg straight back, placing your heel flat on the floor. Don’t bend your back knee. Lean into the wall until you feel the stretch in the calf of the straight leg. Hold for 30 seconds and switch sides. Repeat twice for a total of three sets.
Ankle resistance exercise: Sit on the floor or chair and loop a thera-band around the front of your foot, with the other end of the band wrapped around a stationary object. Bring your entire foot towards you slowly. Start with 2 sets of 15 reps.
We want you to perform at your best while enjoying a pain free run.
Kaitlyn Grell, LPTA
Physical Therapist Assistant
PTC_therapy April 23rd, 2016
Posted In: General
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