Physical Therapy for Runners: Shin Splints
READ, SHARE, PRINT
You can flip through the article here. Just click on the picture to view, download and share this look at the stiff neck.
Shin splints are a common problem for runners and other athletes. They are usually caused by overuse, such as running too much or too hard. Shin splints can also be caused by poor footwear, uneven surfaces, or weak leg muscles. Treatment typically involves rest, ice, and pain relief medications. In severe cases, surgery may be necessary. Contact First Health Physical Therapy In NYC Midtown today to learn more about how we can help you!
Prevention of shin splints usually involves slowly increasing mileage or intensity, avoiding hard surfaces, and wearing proper shoes. Strengthening the muscles in the legs can also help prevent shin splints. You can do several things to help prevent shin splints, or at least reduce your risk of developing them.
- Wear proper shoes – This is probably the most important thing you can do. Make sure your shoes fit well and provide adequate support and cushioning. Replace them every 300-500 miles (483-805 kilometers) or every 3-6 months, whichever comes first.
- Gradually increase your mileage or intensity – Don’t make sudden, drastic increases in your running or other activities. Gradually increase your distance or time by no more than 10% per week.
- Avoid hard surfaces – Run on softer surfaces such as dirt trails or grass. If you have to run on pavement, try to avoid concrete, which is harder than asphalt.
- Strengthen your legs – Strong muscles can help prevent shin splints by absorbing some of the shock of impact. Try exercises that target the calf muscles, such as heel raises and toe raises.
If you do develop shin splints, there are several things you can do to treat them, and see how our physical therapists at Physical Therapy In NYC Midtown can help!
- Rest. This is probably the most important thing you can do. Avoid activities that aggravate your shins for at least a week or two.
- Ice your shins for 20 minutes at a time, several times a day.
- Take over-the-counter pain medications such as ibuprofen or naproxen to help reduce pain and inflammation.
- Try using a foam roller or massage ball to massage the muscles and tissues around your shins. This can help reduce pain and promote healing.
- Prevention: To help prevent shin splints, slowly increase your mileage or intensity when starting a new exercise program. Avoid hard surfaces, and wear proper shoes that support your feet and ankles. Strengthening the muscles in your legs can also help prevent shin splints.
If these treatments don’t work or your shin splints are severe, you may need to see a doctor or orthopedic specialist. Surgery may sometimes be necessary to remove a bone spur or other tissue irritating the shin.
Stretching For Shin Splints
The toe raise is one simple stretch for shin splints that can be done anywhere. Stand on a step with your heels hanging off the edge to do this stretch. Slowly raise your toes toward your shins, then lower them back down again. Repeat 10-15 times.
Another good stretch for shin splints is the calf stretch. To do this stretch:
- Stand with your hands against a wall and your feet about shoulder-width apart.
- Step forward with one leg and bend the knee, keeping the heel of that foot flat on the ground.
- Lean into the wall until you feel a stretch in the calf of your back leg.
- Hold for 30 seconds, then switch legs and repeat.
Visit First Health Physical Therapy In NYC Midtown
Shin splints are a common problem, but they can usually be prevented with some simple measures. Treatments such as rest, ice, and pain relief medication can help you get back on your feet quickly if you do develop shin splints. Contact First Health Physical Therapy In NYC Midtown today to learn more about how we can help you!