Now that the weather is starting to warm up, this is a great time to dust off your shoes and get outside for a run. One of the more common running injuries that can occur is shin splints. When the athlete over loads their training routine the muscles in the shin area can become inflamed and cause intense pain. So before you up the intensity of your training I have asked my good friend and trusted Physical Therapist Ben Shatto to share his tips with us.

  • Check your shoes.  Your shoes may be worn out and may be the cause of the pain. Shoes typically only last 350-500 miles.  If you are nearing those miles, then it may be time to change.  If you’re unsure if your shoes are performing correctly, visit your local running shoe store.  
  • If you change running surfaces, progress slowly.  If you are used to running on softer surfaces, such as dirt or a running track, progress carefully and slowly when you run on a harder surface like concrete.  Over all, softer running surfaces are better for your body.
  • Have your gait analyzed while running.  Gait or running abnormalities can increase your risk of developing shin splints.  Over striding tends to occur while running downhill.  Check with your local running store or a physical therapy clinic for a monthly gait analysis clinic. 
  • Warm up prior to exercise.  I recommend that you increase your normal warm up time by at least 10 minutes in order to increase blood flow to the area.  This allows for better mobility and also prepares the tissues for exercise. .
  • Cool down.  After performing your exercises, take extra time to cool down and stretch.  Focus on calf stretching as well as general lower extremity mobility stretches.  Try a foam roller.
  • Strengthen the stabilizing muscles of your hips and ankles. Strengthening the muscles of your hips and ankles will help to maintain normal gait mechanics during exercise and running.  Not only will this help to prevent shin splints, it will likely help to prevent developing other orthopedic issues such as plantar fasciitis and hip or knee pain.
  • If you experience pain, seek help early.  Don’t ignore those little aches and pains that can develop as you exercise and train.  They may be early warning signs of a developing problem. 

Thank you Ben, and as always you provide us with trusted information and empower us with knowledge. To read more from Ben Shatto you can visit his website at www.thephysicaltherapyadvisor.com.

 

Original Source from Independent News Paper

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