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Running Injuries: Shin Splints

Updated: Jul 23, 2020

Shin splints are a common term you’ve likely all heard before – You may have even experienced them yourself. More technically known as Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome, Shin Splints usually get lumped into any pain in the calf, but that’s not always the case. Let’s dig a little deeper…

What are shin splits?

Shin Splints are caused by tension in the connective tissue that attaches your muscle to your shin bone. This tension leads to inflammation in the area, which results in the pain you experience as Shin Splints.

What causes shin splints?

· Increasing your intensity and/or frequency of activity too quickly

· Muscle imbalances

· Poor form while exercising

· Poor foot control during exercise, causing flat feet

· Lack of warm up or cool down routine

What are the signs and symptoms of shin splints?

· dull pain in the lower portion of the front of your calf, usually located on the outer part of your shin bone.

· Pain that worsens with impact, such as running, walking and any weight bearing activities

· Swelling around the front of the calf

How do I to prevent shin splints?

· Gradually and slowly increase your intensity/frequency of activity

· Stretch your calves regularly, especially after activity

· Strengthen your foot muscles to control your foot’s arch

· Choose proper footwear, based on your foot shape and activity level

· Strengthen your hip and core muscles

· Always incorporate a warm up and cool down into your exercises

· Don’t push through the pain

When should I seek professional help?

With proper care, shin splints may improve on their own, however, it is important to book an assessment with a professional to rule out other causes of pain, such as a stress fracture of your shin bone, and to avoid recurring incidences, since Shin Splints often return more than once.

Want to avoid shin splints altogether? Check out our last Blog, ‘A Safe Return to Running.

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