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How to Care for Your Shins

Posted Nov 24 2012 2:00pm

Shin splints suck, so let’s see how to prevent them!

Shin splints are always the source of concern for many runners. Not only do shin splints hurt, but they hinder your training and running capabilities. Many factors contribute to it, but what should you do when you get it? Though the following may seem like routine for many, it is still good to be aware of what you can do to reduce the pain and swelling because shin splints can lead to worse problems like stress fractures to the bone. The most obvious thing you should do is icing the shin area where you’re experiencing the pain. Doing this will help reduce the pain and any swelling that occurs. Depending on the severity, this should be done 20-30 minutes at a time until the pain dissipates. Essentially following this, you’ll want to rest up your body. You HAVE to let your shin heal up; any more activity could lead to some permanent damage to your shin area. You can take over-the-counter pain relief medication as well, if you feel the need to take them.

If you are flat footed, you should especially take care of your shin splints, as your injuries are more prevalent due to your lack of curvature. Flat-footed runners are more likely to suffer shin splints because the lack of the foot’s curve causes it to experience more shock from running than someone with regular feet.  If you want to prevent the arduousness of shin splints consider running on smoother, softer paths than on pure concrete. Also, consider getting custom fitted shoes that can help absorb the shock of the foot impact. Flat-footed runners should also consider shoes that assist with adding support for their feet. Stretching is ESSENTIAL to prevent shin splints as it helps the muscles in your legs stretch properly. If you follow these simple procedures, you can prevent yourself from getting the pain that no runner really wants to deal with during their training.

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