|Photo: by jpo.ct (Creative Commons)
If you are a runner and have experienced SHIN SPLINTS, you know how painful they can be and how much they can inhibit your running. The good news is that they can be prevented, and it is actually much easier than treating them once they occur.
How To Prevent Shin Splints:
1. Warm up well before running. This may include walking, stretching, and/or slow jogging.
2. Stretch your lower legs well before running. Stretch your calf muscle, soleus muscle (lower part of calf), and the front of your ankle (by pointing your toes downward/inward and downward/outward). Hold each stretch longer (30 seconds) if prior stretching routines have not been effective.
3. Avoid running on hard surfaces. Find trails, sand, grass, or a padded track to run on.
4. Be sure to wear proper shoes. Replace running shoes every 300 miles.
5. Consider using orthotics (over-the-counter or custom-made).
6. Slowly increase your training schedule, especially if you are new to running or returning after an extended time away.
7. Slowly progress to running on hills.
8. Do not run through shin splint pain!
9. Do regular ankle Range of Motion and ankle strengthening exercises.
10. Cross train from the beginning of your jogging or running program.
Source: Brotzman SB, Wilk KE. Clinical Orthopaedic Rehabilitation, 2nd ed. 2003: Mosby. “Shin Splints in Runners” (Casillas MA, Jacobs M), pages 522-526.