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How to Avoid and Treat Shin Splints

Shin splints, the Mayo Clinic describes them as pain caused by overuse along the shinbone, the large front bone in the lower leg. This pain is not only in the front of the shin, but also the pain comes along both sides. We at the Fitness Equipment Shop, like to describe shin splints as excruciating pain felt in the lower parts of your legs that make you question WHY you workout! If you’ve ever had the pleasure of having shin splints, you know that burning feeling, the amounts of Icy Hot, ice and a heat pack, levitation of the leg and just about any other trick in the book to rid yourself of that pain.

When we get shin splints, we always have these questions: 1. WHY!? (which is followed by a light cry and grabbing of the shins) and 2. How do you avoid getting shin splints?

WHY do we get shin splints?
As our friends and the Mayo Clinic have said, shin splints occur because of the over use of the shin bone. If you’re a new runner you might get shin splints because your legs are simply not used to the miles your adding on to them. If you’re an athlete you get shin splints because you’re constantly using those muscles. Other causes can be poor stretching, running on uneven terrain and the most common, worn out shoes.  If you’re a runner, it’s highly recommended that you replace your shoes every six months.

WHAT to do when you get shin splints. STOP your activity immediately or significantly decrease your activity and treat it.

TREAT shin splints by using ice to help reduce the inflammation, slowly stretching your calves, rotating your foot back and forth and front to back.

HOW do you avoid getting shin splints?
The main way to avoid getting shin splints is to properly stretch. Take time to stretch out your lower legs, but remember never stretch a cold muscle. Do a light warm up and then stretch. Make sure you have the proper shoes. There are various types of shoes for different activities. You wouldn’t play soccer while wearing ballet shoes would you? So why run in shoes that are meant for lifting? Running certain distances require different shoes also. Visit a local athletic shoe store, find your right size, and talk to an employee who can help you find the shoe for your needs.

The Runners World as a great Q & A section that can answer more of your runner questions, the do’s and don’ts and the what ifs, CLICK HERE for more.


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