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How to Avoid Shin Splints

Updated on June 25, 2011

What Are Shin Splints?

Shin splints can cause burning pain in the lower legs. They are most common in runners. But a person can also get shin splints from walking. Walkers who walk on rough terrain and on hills are more likely to get shin splints.

Shin splints occur when a person works out underused muscles. Usually, the tendon connecting the muscles of the foot and the lower leg bones gets stretched. The result is the sharp, shooting pain of shin splints.

Wear Proper Shoes to Avoid Shin Splints

One of the most common reasons for shin splints is wearing the wrong shoes. Get shoes made specifically for running. They should provide plenty of support. Ask a knowledgeable salesperson at the shoe store for recommendations for shoes that help avoid shin splints.

Another option, or an additional measure, to avoid shin splints is to use shoe inserts. Sometimes the low price of shoe inserts can help you completely avoid shin splints.

Warming up before exercise is common advice for lots of reasons. Avoiding shin splints is one of them. Concentrate especially on warm up exercises that stretch the hamstrings. Another way to help avoid shin splints is to stretch out the Achilles tendons before running or walking. Don't just stretch before running or walking. Stretching after exercising, concentrating on the shins, calves, hamstrings, and Achilles tendons, can help you avoid shin splints altogether.

Try to strengthen your shin and calf muscles. Weak shins and calves can cause pain in the area.

Don't do the same exercises daily that stress these muscles. If you walk or run, do it every other day instead of daily. This is just until you get the underused muscles stronger. The reason for doing this is because shin splints are caused by weak muscles that are worked too hard. They need time to heal. So, every other day, try biking or swimming for instance, instead of running or walking.

Try changing the location of your exercising. Sometimes it's the surface that causes shin splints. Running on concrete and asphalt are possible contributors to shin splints. Try to find a dirt or grass surface to run or walk, at least part of the time. This may help avoid shin splints.

If you don't allow yourself to rest when you get shin splints, it can eventually result in a fracture. You don't have to avoid exercise entirely. Just try a different exercise routine until you heal that doesn't stress the area, such as swimming.

How to Avoid Shin Splints Comments

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    • raisingme profile image

      raisingme 

      8 years ago from Fraser Valley, British Columbia

      Horses get them too and the same applies. People who have been hospitalized for long periods of time can suffer from these as well as they begin to get up and about. They are very painful. Wrapping the lower leg in warm towels for horses and people as does potassium. Eat a banana! Well Done article, thank you!

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 

      8 years ago from London, UK

      I have never heard of it but nevertheless it is a well written hub and very informative. Thank you.

    • Putz Ballard profile image

      Putz Ballard 

      8 years ago

      Great hub and some good advice. I had shin splints when I was in service in Alaska. Very painful.

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