Shin Splint Prevention

Warm-up and Stretch: Make sure to start your run by stretching your calves; drop your heals off a ledge and pulse up and down every threes seconds. When you begin your run, be sure to start slowly to allow your muscles to loosen and warm up.

Ice: The universal cure for inflammation. Try wrapping your calves and shins in ice to cover the whole muscle. Alternatively, reach deep into your shins by freezing a small cup of water and then digging the ice into your calves.

Compression: Taping your calves and shins with an Ace bandage or using a compression sleeve will keep your muscles in place and provide some relief for your shins while running.

Insoles: Sometimes you just need a little extra padding to help your shins deal with the impact of pounding the pavement. Try picking up new insoles to put in your running shoes.

New Kicks: As a general rule of thumb, you should get a new pair of running shoes every year or 500 miles, whichever comes first. If it’s been longer than this, your shoes won’t be able to give you the support you need. Sometimes a new pair of running shoes is the grand problem solver.

Don’t Hit the Pavement: Concrete is harder on your shins than any other surface. If you have shin splints, use this minor setback as an excuse to explore some new trails. Try a scenic run through the woods or catch some rays while running along the beach. If these destinations aren’t accessible to you, try to find a gravel track and log an interval workout.

Cross Train: The best way to cure your shin splints is to stay off them. Try a swim workout or even deep water running workout in the pool. Biking or spinning is another way to work your legs and get some aerobic exercise without all the impact of running.

The most important thing is to allow your shin splints to heal, rather than aggravating them and potentially causing a stress fracture. You will only make them worse if you ignore your body’s message. Continuing to run on shin splints can possibly end your running career. Be sure to listen to your body and try these methods to heal your shin splints.

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