Running Tips for Shin Splints
All kinds of runners, from beginners to Olympic marathoners, have had the unfortunate experience of shin splints. Shin splints are actually inflammations of the muscles and tendons at the front of the leg, which are characterized by pains around the shin. “Shin splints” is a general term used by runners and doctors alike to categorize various types of conditions, but according to Andre Kaokane at Running Tips 4 All, most often it is known as tibial stress syndrome.
There are various causes of shin splints. If you are beginner runner, the most likely cause is trying to do too much running too soon. One of the best running tips for beginners is to start your training program very, very slowly. For more experienced runners, the causes could be overtraining or excess downhill running, which creates additional stress the front of the shin. Sometimes this type of stress results in an imbalance in strength between the front and the back of the leg, so at first the pain may be felt in the calf, which later moves forward to the shin.
Shinsplints are a chronic injury that will gradually get worse without rest or treatment. Eventually they can lead to stress fractures of tibia (shinbone).
Remedies for Shin Splints
If you cut back on your mileage or the intensity of your workouts, and get adequate rest, shin splints will usually improve gradually, but they can take 4 to 6 weeks to disappear entirely. The most important factors in treatment are ice, massage, and rest. To help correct the root cause of the problem, you should perform stretching exercises for the muscles attaching to the shin and also the calf muscles. These exercises help to equalize the strength between the two muscle groups.
If your arches are weak or flat, you may be more susceptible to experiencing shin splints. In that case, better arch support will help, but in more severe cases you may need the help of orthotics.
Recovery from shin splints is a gradual process. Just because the pain goes away does not mean that you should jump right back into a full training schedule. You need to ease back into full training by making increases a little bit at a time until you’re back to 100%.