Over the last week I have been dealing with shin splints during and after my runs. Shin splints is the catch-all term for lower leg pain that occurs below the knee either on the front outside part of the leg (anterior shin splints) or the inside of the leg (medial shin splints). http://www.runnersworld.com/shin-splints
This is the most common injury runners experience. I have been trying to figure out the reason why I am getting shin splints. As I did more research on the topic, I concluded that it is a mix of different reasons.
A lot of the time, shin splints happen to new runners who increase their mileage too fast, or seasoned runners who switch up their routine dramatically. In short, shin splints = too much, too soon.
More reasons for shin splints are, overpronation (a frequent cause of medial shin splints), inadequate stretching, worn shoes, or excessive stress placed on one leg or one hip from running on cambered roads or always running in the same direction on a track. I am guilty of all of these.
I am still a fairly new runner and I always push myself to do too much, too soon. So I decided to start over and do a mile and gradually increase my mileage, which I was not doing in the first place. I know, rookie mistake.
I am also going to take a second look at the shoes I wear. They need to be supportive enough for my feet. The are also different shoes for different types of terrain, so make sure you are wearing the right shoe for the way you run and where you run.
If you are experiencing this injury, here are a few tips to aiding your recovery.
Tips for recovery:
- Ice your shins to reduce inflamation
- Take Ibuprofen
- In a sitting position, trace the alphabet on the floor with your toes. Do this with each leg.
- Consider cross-training for a while to let your shin heal. Swim, run in the pool or ride a bike.
- When you return to running, increase your mileage slowly, no more than 10 percent weekly.
For more information and useful tips about running check out http://www.runnersworld.com