How To Prevent Shin Splints
A shin splint is generally described as pain felt in the lower two-thirds of the tibia – or shin bone – upon exertion. It is essentially an overuse injury caused by repetitive strain, often seen with running and jumping sports.
There are many intrinsic and extrinsic factors that may contribute to shin pain such as foot mechanics, activity, footwear and muscle activity.
How do you prevent this from happening?
Overpronation of the subtalar joint can lead to excessive loading on lower leg musculature. Custom foot orthoses can help to reposition the foot to reduce overpronation to reduce the strain on the tissues.
It is important to have the right shoe for your feet and the activity you are using them for. Ask yourself the following questions: Is my shoe designed for the activity I am using it for? Is my shoe worn out? Does my shoe fit me properly? Is this the right shoe for my biomechanics?
Here are some tips for finding shoes that will work for you:
Wear a shoe that is appropriate for your activity. For example, run in a running shoe and play tennis in a court shoe.
Replace your shoes every 500-600km. This will help maintain adequate cushioning and shock absorption.
Don’t run in the same shoe every day. Have 2 or more pairs in your regular rotation.
Buy shoes new. Don’t wear used shoes, the person that wore them before you will have created a wear pattern that doesn’t match up to your biomechanics.
Get properly measured and fit by an expert. Fitting experts at Kintec can tell you what kind of shoe you need, and more about your gait and alignment.
Don’t worry, we’re here to help!
At Kintec, we will take you through an in-depth fitting process. When choosing the right shoe, we will look at your lifestyle, your movement, and your feet/alignment.
Here are some tips on how to prevent shin splints, with regard to training:
Take rest days. Give yourself – and your muscles – some recovery time.
Cross train. Overuse injuries develop because of a continuous repetitive strain. Be sure you are working some other activities into your program.
Pace yourself. Don’t overdo it, follow a training program that increases the frequency, intensity or duration by less than 10% each week to avoid overtraining.
Try running on a softer surface. Trails or a track are ideal, check out our trail running clinics.
Stretch and massage after your workout. Try a foam or stick roller. We recommend these stretches: Gastrocnemius stretch, Soleus stretch, seated shin stretch, heel walking, wall toe raises, resisted ankle dorsiflexion with a band, and calf raises.
Sara Girard, B. Kin, C. Ped (C)