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Shin Splints Recovery Formula: The 10 Key Steps

By on Jun 29, 2013
Image illustrating Shin splints injury

Shin splints – they’re the scourge of many a new, and plenty of old, runners. So what can you do to prevent these from ruining your running enjoyment?

The article we review today provides a quick, jargon-free overview for beginners. It certainly won’t blind you with science. But, beneath the frivolous veneer, it provides you with a useful checklist to help you avoid future problems with the injury.

More info on recovery from shin splints

Pushing through a shin splints injury can cause serious problems and wreak havoc on any running training programme. But there are a few easy ways to try to avoid the injury in the first place. Below we list the key recommendations from the fitsugar.com article.

  1. Is your running form contributing to significant problems? There’s been plenty of research linking heel striking with significant injury problems; landing on your midfoot rather than your heal can potentially help.
  2. Are muscular imbalances to blame? To the extent that they are, strengthening lower leg muscles could help keep you injury-free.
  3. For some time the standard guidance has been to mix up the surfaces you run on. In particular, avoid repetitive road or pavement training routines.
  4. Stretching can also play a role – but please take care when implementing this particular tip. In short, dynamic stretches before running good (or at worst simply inconsequential); static stretches before running bad.
  5. If your motto is ‘run, run and run again’, then stop – think about potential benefits from mixing up your routines. Cycling, swimming, strength training…there are alternative workouts and a more varied training programme could help you avoid injury.
  6. On a similar note, rest days can be active in ways that won’t aggravate your shin condition. Consider low-intensity exercises, such as walking or swimming, on those active rest days.
  7. Cold therapy can be a useful tool in the initial period after injury strikes, as exemplified by the so-called ‘RICE’ protocol.
  8. On a similar note, rest days can be active in ways that won’t aggravate your shin condition. Consider low-intensity exercises, such as walking or swimming, on those active rest days.
  9. Foam rollers can, as the article puts it, be the best defence against shin problems. It’s a simple solution, but can be highly effective at easing aches and pains.
  10. Running up that hill! Kate Bush might not have had shin splints in mind when singing that song, but the impact of downhill running on shins is well documented. Running uphill – and simply setting a small incline when using a treadmill – can limit the stress placed on your shins.
  11. Finally, perhaps it goes without saying, but avoid overdoing it! Consistency really is key to making progress with your running – and attempts to speed that progress by rapidly increasing the stress you place on your body can easily result in injuries like shin splints.

…Even if the ache isn’t that bad, it’s still a minor injury. Pushing through the pain could result in more severe tears — an injury that could sideline your running routine altogether…

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