How To Stop and Possibly Avoid Shin Splints
Shin splints are a pain which runs down the front of your shin.
There maybe swelling in the lower part of your leg.
You may feel shin splint pain while you are exercising and then the pain may go away or vice versa.
You might be working out and then you feel the tenderness in your shin later on.
If it’s really chronic and flared up, you are going feel it all the time.
If you do not treat shin splints, it is very possible it will become chronic. *Always make sure you get checked by your doctor.
What Causes Shin Splints?
Shin splints can be caused by repetitive stress on the shin bone and the muscles around it.
Tight calf muscle may cause shin splints.
Learn how to stretch out your calves and shins HERE.
Beginning A New Workout
Shin splints might be caused after taking up running or if you haven’t run in a long time.
Too Advanced Of A Workout
If you are doing a program which is too advanced for your body you may get shin splints. (Sometimes our minds are way ahead of what our body can actually do so it is always best to start off a little bit slower and work your way up, especially if you are a woman over 40. We are not the same as we were in our 20’s, so we have to be a little bit nicer to our bodies.)
Intensity Too High
Shin splints can happen if you have recently bumped up the intensity of your workout. This is mainly impact-type workouts such as calisthenics, HIIT training, tabata… anything where you are providing impact on your body and you have just cranked it up a notch.
Shin splints can happen if you are working out on uneven terrain. If you are a trail runner or workout outside, try to use as even terrain as you possibly can.
Cement is probably the worst thing you can workout on. If you have an at-home gym in your basement, make sure you have a mat or something which has good cushion to it. This will provide a little bit more buffer for impact exercises so you can possibly prevent shin splints.
Shin splints could be caused by the structure of your feet. If you have a flat arch or a high arch, a lot of times the impact on the foot will cause pain up through your shins. Also, depending on how you are landing through your foot as you walk or run. Learn more about ankle position by clicking here.
How Do You Avoid Shin Splints?
Get Your Foot Analyzed
See a podiatrist to analyze your gait or your foot/ankle posture.
You can also check out this Shape It Up video on Ankle Posture by clicking here.
Your gait is how you walk or run. A podiatrist can give you recommendations whether you need orthotics or a certain type of shoe which may help.
There are running companies who offer gait analysis. There is a great local running company called The Mullica Hill Running Company. (The Running Company has stores in Mullica Hill, Haddonfield, Moorestown and Medford, NJ. Learn more about them by clicking here). They offer a gait analysis and can recommend what shoe would fit best for your foot.
*Shape It Up is not affiliated with any of the business mentioned in this post. I have used their products/services and only promote business I believe will help you. I do not get a kickback or anything for mentioning these companies to you.
Always make sure you warm up your calves and shins before starting your workout. A lot of times we focus on the bigger muscles (your chest, back and legs) when you go to warm up. Which is important. But you need to make sure you are addressing your smaller muscles. Your smaller muscles such as calves and shins need to be warmed up especially if you are going to run or do an impact workout. Check out this Shape It Up video on great warms up for calves and shins.
Get The Correct Program For You
Make sure your workout program is designed for you. This is why I recommend hiring a certified professional personal trainer to design a fitness program for you. Make sure you are getting something tailored for you. There are a ton of programs online but they may not be the best one for you. If you are a beginner, just started running or restarting to workout again after a lapse….Especially if you are over 40 (sorry ladies, we are not the same as we were when we were in our 20’s) I HIGHLY recommend hiring a personal trainer to get the best fitness program for you. I am not just saying that because I’m a trainer and I offer that service…but it is important to make sure that you are getting what you need for your results and to make sure you stay injury-free. Want to check out Shape It Up’s services click here to learn more.
Make sure you get the correct sneaker for your foot. I’m not sure they are still calling them sneakers nowadays – I know sometimes they call them “kicks”, but if you are over 40, we call them sneakers. I digress…Make sure you have a supportive pair of sneakers. There are many different styles and brands of sneakers which you can purchase. Sometimes they are good for your feet, sometimes they are not so good. I personally wear Asics. I love the brand and have never had a problem with them. They work fabulously with my feet. I also have orthotics so again, it’s a good balance for me. I’ve tried different shoes but Asics is the one that I like best. I am not affiliated with Asics, I’m just sharing that with you because that is a product I like. Learn more about Asics here.
Consider arch support. If your insurance covers it, I highly recommend you take advantage of it and go see a podiatrist.
Go to your podiatrist and get your feet evaluated. They will do a gait analysis on you. The doctor will check your feet and possibly take x-rays. If you need orthotics, they will take a molding of your foot. Totally worth it. Again, especially if you have insurance that covers it. I highly recommend you go that route.
If you are looking for a budget-friendly option (this might not be the best option), you can get arch supports in the drugstore. Again, it is not going to be customized to your foot but it might be a starting point for you. If they work, go with the drugstore inserts. If they don’t work, go see your local podiatrist.
You have to, have to, have to stretch out your calves and your shins. Click here for Shape It Up exercises that you can do to stretch out your calves and your shins.
Slow and Steady
Ladies, if you are over 40… close to 40, or if you are a beginner, always…always… always start off slow and work your way up. I cannot stress enough you need to be slow and steady in your progress and in your workouts. There are many 12-week online programs that claim you are going to be in fabulous shape. Well, I have news for you, you may kill yourself to get there but you are not going to stay there. It’s better to think of fitness as a lifelong lifestyle change. Health and fitness is a marathon, not a sprint…. and lastly be nice to your body. Make sure you start off nice and slow and acclimate as you are ready.
Q-Angle may be hindering your workouts! Click here to read.