Great Tips To Prevent and Manage Shin Splints
As spring sports seasons will be quickly upon us, the dreaded “shin splints” becomes a conversation piece. Shin splints is a very general term referring to pain in front part of the lower leg. With the right approach, shin splints can not only be managed, but also prevented.
Footwear: The following guidelines will help ensure proper footwear
- Footwear should be appropriate for the type of activity (e.g. volleyball or basketball shoes should not be used for distance running)
- Choose a shoe appropriate for your foot type. A physical therapist or athletic trainer can help you determine the best shoe for your foot
- Be sure shoes are in good condition, are not old, and are not broken down
Lower Body and Core Strength: Strength and engagement of the correct muscles is crucial to efficient and pain-free running. Muscles around the hips (e.g. glutes, hamstrings, hip flexors, quadriceps), core (e.g. lower abdominal muscles), lower leg, and foot must all be strong and work appropriately to improve running technique. Weaknesses or inability to appropriately engage muscles leads to compensations in technique and stress on other muscles.
Running Form: Using proper running form is also very important to preventing and managing shin splints. Small changes in running form can create significant differences on the impact and forces absorbed by the body. Proper running form also maximizes efficiency in running, getting more results for your effort.
If you have a history of shin splints, it is best to address the potential causes prior to a season starting or prior to beginning a new activity. If experiencing shin splints for the first time, remember that reversing the effects of shin splints is easier the sooner they are addressed. OSI’s physical therapists and athletic trainers are available to assist you in preventing and managing shin splint pain.