How to Prevent Shin Splints
Shin splints are a very common sports injury that many recreational and professional athletes deal with on a regular basis. Do not think that you are the only one who has to deal with this problem; it is quite regular for individuals to have symptoms ranging from mild to severe at any time during their exercise routine. The best course of action is to know what shin splints really are and how to deal with them so that you can avoid them in the future.
Shin splints are also known as Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome (MTSS) in the medical world, but to the common athlete, they are just downright painful. You may experience mild symptoms or you could have a variety of pain that ranges up to severe depending on the type and intensity of your exercise. The best thing to do is know when you start experiencing pain in your shins to stop what you are doing and assess your injury so that you do not make it any worse.
Knowing how to prevent shin splints is an important aspect for those athletes who do repetitive running exercises. Anyone who has dealt with shin splints in the past can tell you that it could take anywhere from 3 to 6 months to fully recover from them and put your training back quite some time. Firstly, you will not want to jump right into long runs and an intensive exercise routine. Build your regime gradually so that your body slowly builds up muscle tissue and resistance to strenuous exercise. This will help you build up to longer runs slowly and give your body time to adjust, rather than forcing it to complete intensive runs for long periods of time without any previous training. If you have shin splints and what to speed up their healing time dramatically, check out "Stop Shin Splints Forever".
Have good supportive shoes for your training. How your feet are supported during your long runs is extremely important in how you avoid shin splints. If you have flat feet, problems with falling arches, run irregular like over-pronation and rolling of the foot when you strike the ground. If you have any concerns about how you run, your best bet is to go to a specialized running store and have them examine your gait and how you run so they can recommend the best shoe for your feet and your particular running style.
Try to cross-train and do more than just running. By completing other exercises besides running you are building muscle tone in different areas, all of which will support your legs and shins while you run regularly. It is never recommended to only focus on one specific group of muscles to train, but rather switch between different muscle groups so that you are a more balanced athlete. Any exercise you perform will help you with balance and coordination, all of which will contribute to your running skills and help prevent shin splints later on.
Keep a short stride when you run and try to strike the ground in the middle of your foot rather than with your toes or heel. If your stride is too long you risk overextending your legs and creating more force on your lower shins when you hit the ground with your feet. By ensuring that you use the middle of your foot, you avoid stretching the muscles on your shin by slamming your heel down or by overextending your foot and using your toes to land first. For detailed information about how to pick the right shoe for your foot, and all you need to know about avoiding shin splints, check out rehab specialist's Gary Buchenic "Stop Shin Splints Forever" guide.