Four Ways to Avoid Shin Splints

By St Helena Sports Medicine
January 15, 2017

When you do exercises like walking or running, your shins bear up to six times your weight. And if you overdo it, your muscles and surrounding tissues can become inflamed, especially if you’re hoofing it up hills. That’s because the foot has to flex more, which places extra stress on your shin muscles. The good news is shin splints don’t have to be an unpleasant result of your daily walking or running regimen if you follow these four easy tips:

1. Start out easy

Before beginning any exercise routine, be sure you’re not giving it your all right out the gate. To prevent shin splits, it’s best to increase just one part of your workout at a time, whether it’s speed, frequency or duration. Increasing more than one aspect at a time puts greater stress on your shins and sets you up for increased risk of injury.

2. Don’t forget the warm-up

When your calf muscles are tight, they’re putting extra stress on your shins and increasing your chance of getting shin splints. To keep shin splints at bay, stand with your heels together and toes pointed out. Slowly rise up onto your toes and lower yourself back down, repeating this exercise 10 times. Also try standing with your big toes together and heels apart and repeating the motion of rising up slowly onto your toes and then back down 10 times.

3. Exercise your hips

Your hips play a big role in preventing shin splints. When they can swivel smoothly, it’s easier for you to push off the ground without rolling your feet inward, which can cause shin pain. You can strengthen your hips my doing leg lifts while you lie on your side three or four times a week. It’s best to do them in increments of five, and don’t forget to switch sides between sets.

4. Get a massage

In addition to pampering yourself, a deep-tissue massage is an excellent way to keep your lower leg muscles loose and your shins injury-free.

Do you want to learn more about ways to avoid getting shin splints? Contact Napa Vacaville Sports Medicine and Orthopaedics.

For more information about muscle and joint health, contact us today. You can reach us directly at 707.258.2547 in Napa or 707.446.6206 in Vacaville. We look forward to meeting you!

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