Shin Splints – Every new runner’s worse training partner.

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Shin Splints – Every new runner’s worse training partner.

The term “shin splints” refers to pain along the shin bone (tibia) — the large bone in the front of your lower leg. The pain develops while running and resolves afterwards; it usually improves with continued training. The inner aspect of the tibia will be tender to touch, with no area more tender than another. There may be mild swelling in the lower leg.

How did I get shin splints? What can I do?

This maybe the most common injury with new or novice runners as they begin running or the athlete has suddenly done a major increase in their duration, frequency and intensity of the training.

The number one reason maybe you need new shoes with the correct support for your foot.

Purchase a good pair of shoes designed with your support needs. Here at The Edge we specialize in gait analysis and matching you up with the perfect shoe for your foot type. The right shoe for you will help stabilize your foot. Look at it this way, a good main floor in a house needs a solid basement. We should think of this the same way when it comes to our bodies

The number two reason is you may need an Edge on your training. The Edge provides coaching to help clean up your running form and provide you with a training plan to avoid over use injuries. Good running form can help decrease the amount of twisting and torquing of your legs to reduce straining the shin muscles. No substitution for a good plan, small increases weekly in training lead to big gains in the long run.

The number three reason is the surface you are training on, concrete, hills and uneven ground can contribute to your pain. Try to train on a flat grassy surface and get off the concrete for a while until the shins recover.

Treatment of the problem includes improve the flexibility of your calf muscles and the strength of the muscles in the front and sides of your lower leg.

Massage:
Book a massage with a Register Massage Therapist. The massage therapist should be instructed to focus on your calf muscles, shins and feet. The key to having a loose shin muscle is a soft relaxed calf muscles.

Self massage with a roller:
The focus needs to be on the lower legs since the shin muscles and the calf muslces are all connected. We suggest to start by massaging the calf muscles. Place the roller under the middle of calf muscle on one of your legs. Do a full clockwise rotation of your foot at the ankle in a slow and smooth pace, repeat five times. Keeping to the same leg switch the movement to a counter clockwise rotation five times. Now switch to the opposite leg and repeat the rotations both clockwise and counter clockwise, five times each side. To ensure the whole calf muscle is properly massaged you should move the roller further down the calf muscle getting closer to the ankle and repeat the clockwise and counter clockwise rotations on each leg five times.

Ice Ice Ice:
Immerse your foot in ice bath twice daily for 10 minutes.

Find a deep enough pail that can hold enough water so you can submerse your foot and most of your lower leg. Make sure the pail is also wide and long enough to accomodate your foot so it can sit flat on the bottom of the pail. Fill the pail a little more then 3/4 with cold water, add a couple of trays of ice cubes. An extra tip, use an empty two litre pop bottle to make the ice. Cut off the top portion of an empty and clean pop bottle, fill with 3/4 with water and put it in the freezer. This makes for a solid chunk of ice to add to your ice bath instead of small ice cubes. Put your foot into the pail for 10 minutes. When completed, refill the bottle and re-freeze.

The pain usually subsides as your fitness improves. Come on in and we can show you a few lower leg exercises and stretches to help prevent shin splints in the future.