Learn How to Avoid Shin Splints

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How to avoid shin splints involves knowing what causes them and taking precautions based on these risk factors.

Shin splints is also known as tibial stress syndrome. Shin splints are caused by there being, according to the Mayo Clinic, “an overload” on the connective tissues and shinbone. This typically occurs during physical activity such as jogging, running or marathon-training.

Risks

According to an article titled “6 Ways to Avoid Workout Injuries” by Colette Bouchez on WebMD, Gerald Varlotta, DO, explains how injuries such as shin splints occur, which can help patients learn how to avoid them. He states, “Sometimes it’s a matter of doing the right activity too much or too often; sometimes it’s a matter doing the right activity wrong; and sometimes it’s a matter of choosing the wrong activity for your particular body type or physical conditioning.”

According to that article, the six ways to avoid injuries (including shin splints) including knowing your body’s limitations, understanding that gender can increase the risk for certain injuries, using a professional to illustrate proper techniques, working out at a level appropriate for your age (because the body changes as it ages and becomes more susceptible to certain injuries), warming up and learning when to stop.

Preventative Measures

Proper Footwear. Wearing the proper footwear can help reduce the risk for shin splints. Part of this tip includes replacing your footwear on a regular basis. The Mayo Clinc recommends replacement every 300 to 500 miles (run/walked/jogged).

Lowering Impact Level. Lower impact activities such as biking or swimming can help reduce the risk for shin splints in those who are particularly susceptible.

Building up Strength. Adding strength-training to your routine can help protect your shins from shin splints. Toe raises are one exercise recommended for this purpose. Leg presses are another.

Warming Up. Always recommended prior to working out, it is very important that those at risk for shin splints take the time to do a good warm up before participating in an activity that could cause shin splints.

Avoid Hard Surfaces. This one can tie in with lowering the impact level. Avoiding hard surfaces like concrete can help reduce the risk of shin splints. This can mean opting to run on local school tracks or tracks at gyms rather than along the street.

Summary

Learning how to avoid shin splints includes learning the risks involved as well as the preventative measures that can be taken. Closely following these tips, especially as you age or when you take up a new form of exercise, can help you avoid shin splints.

References

Shin Splints. Mayo Clinic Staff. December 30, 2008. https://www.mayoclinic.com/health/shin-splints/DS00271

Shin Splints (Tibial Stress Syndrome). WebMD. https://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/shin-splints

Shin Splints: Topic Overview. WebMD. https://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/shin-splints-topic-overview

6 Ways to Avoid Workout Injuries. Colette Bouchez. Reviewed by Louise Change, MD. May 19, 2008. WebMD Feature. https://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/features/6-ways-avoid-workout-injuries