How to Prevent Shin Splints

Posted on June 1st, 2015 by Orthopaedic Specialty Group

Medial tibial stress syndrome, also known as shin splints, is experienced by approximately 3 million Americans every year. Most common in runners, shin splints are characterized by pain and inflammation in the front part of the lower legs.

There are many causes for shin splints. Some of the most common include:

  • Overuse of the muscles. This is common when you increase the duration or intensity of your runs.
  • Running on an incline, decline, or a hard surface such as asphalt.
  • Poor-fitting shoes.
  • Weaknesses in other muscles such as the calves, ankles, and hips.

If you suffer from shin splints, you will be able to tell, as the pain in the shins is often enough to hinder or even completely inhibit your workouts. Once they occur, shin splints can take over two months to fully heal, according to Runner’s World. An old adage says that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, so here are some things you can do to defend yourself against shin splints:

  • Gradually increase your running exercises to prevent overuse.
  • Don’t run more than three times per week. If you want additional cardio, turn to low-impact exercises such as cycling and swimming.
  • Wear well-fitting shoes with proper arch support. Replace your running shoes every 500 miles.
  • Stretch before and after your workouts.
  • Work to improve the strength and mobility of your ankles, hips, and calves.

If you are already experiencing pain from shin splints, the best thing to do is to take some time off from your sport. If the pain continues to get worse, you should seek medical help. If you live in Fairfield County or the surrounding area, schedule a consultation at southern Connecticut’s largest orthopedic practice. With five convenient locations and a team of licensed physicians, help is just a call away with Orthopaedic Specialty Group. Book an appointment with one of our certified specialists by calling (203) 337-2600.