Losing it With Kacie: Shin Splints 101

Kacie Bryant

I am writing today about something that has plagued many of you and might even keep you from regular cardio exercise.  Shin splints are a throbbing and aching pain in your shins and are caused by over-extension of muscle and tendons there.  It is the tearing away of the muscle tissue that attaches to the front of your lower leg.  Any impact to your lower leg can cause them and is very common with runners and dancers, but you can also get one by just a quick sprint to catch a bus.  It is also very common in sports with sudden stops and starts such as tennis, basketball and soccer.  In some cases, poor running mechanics which include excessive forward lean, excessive weight on the ball of your foot, or running with toes pointed out can be to blame.  The pain can be mild to severe depending on the extent of the injury.
 Shin splints will mostly heal them self and requires that you stay inactive for a few days until the pain goes away.  Some other helpful solutions to speed healing is to apply ice every 4 hours for 20 to 30 minutes and take anti-inflammatory pain killers such as aspirin, ibuprofen or naproxen.  You can also wrap an ace bandage around your shin to reduce discomfort.  During the healing time you can ride a stationary bicycle, do low impact exercises or do pool running for your cardio fitness.
     To help prevent shin splints, do the following.  Always wear shoes with a good arch support and padding.  Be sure to warm up before working out, concentrating on stretching muscles in your legs.  Toe raises are very effective for this.  Stand up and slowly raise up on your toes, then slowly go back down to your heels.  Do this 10 times and begin to hold progressively heavier weights as it becomes easier.  Stop what you are doing when you feel pain in your shins.  Try not to run on hard surface such as concrete.  Do not give up on exercise, shin splints are very common and tend to improve over time.

Living the Run is thrilled to publish “Losing it With Kacie” every week right here on www.livingtherun.com. Kacie is a certified trainer and owns Guiding Fitness in Lincoln, California. She has a passion for women’s fitness and teaches several classes. For Kacie complete bio check out our bloggers bio page

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