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Shin splints
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Shin splints

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Stretching Exercises

·        Kneeling position, the runner points his toes out behind and gently sits back on heels pressing the tops of the feet towards the ground.

·        Standing arm’s length from the wall, place hands on wall, keep feet and knees straight, lean forward as far as possible.

·        Standing with feet flat, bend knees forward as far as possible keeping heels on floor.

Because research shows that your muscles are more elastic after they’ve been warmed up, stretching should take place after a good warm-up as well as at the end of the workout.

Strengthening Exercises

·        With a partner hold down the others feet which are flat on the ground.  With resistance on their toes, have them lift their toes up.

·        Sitting with left ankle on right knee, apply pressure to inside of foot (near large toe) with hand, and turn foot up and in, using leg muscles.

·        Same position as above, apply pressure to outside of foot (near small toe) with hand, and turn foot down and out using leg muscles.

·        Same position as above, apply pressure to top of foot (near toes) with hand, and lift foot using leg muscles.  Repeat with right ankle on the left knee.

·        Sitting on a table or chair attach a weight (a bucket filled with rocks works well) around the foot.  Without bending your knee move the foot up and down from the ankle.

·        Anchor one end of an elastic band to the leg of a table or sofa.  Stretch the band, and then loop it around the end of the foot.  Move the foot up and down and side to side against the bands resistance.

·        Draw each letter of the alphabet with the big toe of each foot in the air.

·        While standing erect raise up and down onto your toes several times.  If that is too easy you can make it more challenging by performing the same exercise while standing on a step and allow your calves to stretch over the edge of the step.

·        In a sitting position lower and raise the feet with the heels on the ground as high and quickly as possible for 60 seconds.  I have athletes do this exercise during the school day while sitting at their desk.

·        Walking down steep hills.

·        Walking on toes.

·        Walking on heels.

·        Walking with feet turned inward and outward.

·        With socks off, gather up a towel that is flat on the floor, using only the toes.

·        Pick up marbles using the toes.

·        Off-season training.  One of the most effective ways to eliminate shin splints is to do some type of running in the off season.  An increase in mileage should never exceed more than 10% per week.

 

Prevention in summary:

  • Proper Shoes

  • Warming up and cooling down.

  • Stretching

  • Strengthening exercises

  • Proper running mechanics

 

Summary

Don’t let shin splints get the best of you.  In almost all cases shin splints can be treated or better yet avoided through preventative measures.  Much of the information in this report came from a great variety of sources, but I would like to especially acknowledge Runners World Publications for many articles in which I used as resources.

Shin splints > 1 > 2 > 3 > 4

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This information is provided for general medical education purposes only and is not meant to substitute for the independent medical judgment of a physician relative to diagnostic and treatment options of a specific patient's medical condition.
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