SHIN SPLINTS: Can They Be Prevented?

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.

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I am a Physical Therapist and Ergonomics Consultant, based out of Columbia, SC. My passion is to write about and speak about pain/injury prevention. I started Pain Talks as a consulting business in 2018.

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1 Comment

  1. Those insights on shin splints are very good.What I have found is that shin splints are usually a result of impacts that are not absorbed well. Here are 3 video tutorials that will show you deep tissue treatments to help release some spasms in your foot and shins that may be causing or resulting from this hard landing.Video Tutorial #75 The Deep Tissue Treatment Dr. James Stoxen DC Uses For Shin Splints Tutorial #80 Dr James Stoxen DC Demonstrates How To Self-Help Deep Tissue Treatment Of The Subtalar Joint Of The Ankle On The Inside. Tutorial #81 Dr James Stoxen DC Demonstrates How To Self-Help Deep Tissue Treatment Of The Ankle (Subtalar Joint Outside) Tutorial #87 Dr James Stoxen DC Demonstrates Self-Help Deep Tissue Of The Ankle Mortise are my last two articles you might find helpful:How Does The Body Spring Back Safely From Impacts Of Running and Walking? & Exercises To Reduce Over Pronation and Over Supination From Impacts During Walking and Running if you have any further questions or regards.Dr James Stoxen DC, President, Team Doctors The Barefoot Running Doctor


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