5 Tips to Help Avoid Shin Splints

5 Tips to Avoid Shin Splints

When the lower leg muscles get overused from constant wear and tear, a painful condition called shin splints can develop. This nagging injury is very common in running sports, keeping even the most seasoned athletes off their feet for weeks.

What are Shin Splints?

People with shin splints often describe their symptoms as tender-to-the-touch, with an aching sensation on either side of the shin bone. This dull, throbbing pain often appears during or right after exercise. Over time, chronic shin splint pain will leave the leg feeling fatigued and weak.

Exercises for Shin Splints

While rest and ice may help you recover, they don’t always address the underlying causes of shin splints. One of the factors contributing to shin splints is the presence of weakened muscles in the ankles, legs, and hips.

To stay at the top of your game, add some lower body strength and stability exercises to your daily routine. Building strength and improving your balance can help reduce your risk of developing an overuse injury like shin splints.

*Disclaimer: Always consult with your doctor before starting any exercise program. If you experience any numbness, tingling or reproduction of your symptoms, please contact your doctor.

1) Ankle Strength & Stability: Isometric Inversion

  • Sit with a ball between your feet.
  • Push the inside of your feet inward and up against the ball.
  • Relax, and repeat 10 times.

2) Glute Medius Strengthening: Monster Walks

  • Wrap an elastic band around your legs just under the knees, keeping the legs shoulders-width apart.
  • Brace your core, avoid flaring the ribs and maintain a straight posture.
  • Step slowly, maintaining the tension on the band between steps.
  • Take 10 steps right and 10 steps left.
  • Do not let your knees cave in when you step.
  • Complete 10 repetitions.

3) Stability & Balance: Toe Walks/Dancer’s Walk

  • Walk with an exaggerated heel to toe, one foot at a time.
  • Maintain balance and control from the heel to push off toes.
  • This will help build stability and balance to your ankles, calves, and toes.
  • Complete 10 steps on each foot.

4) Hip & Glute Strengthening: Bridges

  • Begin by lying flat on your back.
  • Place your feet on the floor, underneath the bend in your knees, and in line with your hips.
  • Roll your pelvis back towards the floor, lessening the gap between your low back and the floor.
  • From here, press your feet into the floor, with a focus on the heels.
  • Squeeze your gluteal muscles and brace your core before beginning the movement.
  • Now, lift your hips off the floor until your hips and torso make a straight line.
  • Maintain the contractions in your core and glutes and hold this position for 2-3 seconds at the top of the motion.
  • With a slow and controlled motion, return to the starting position.
  • Complete 2 sets of 10 repetitions.

More Exercises for Shin Splints Relief & Prevention

Airrosti’s Breanne Kelley, DC, demonstrates a few more quick exercises you can add to your routine to help you kick painful shin splints to the curb.

Get Back on Your Feet Fast with Airrosti

At Airrosti, our providers are dedicated to finding and treating pain at the source. We also focus on injury and pain prevention with customized active rehab exercises that you can do anywhere to help alleviate aches and pains.

We offer both in-office and  virtual appointments. Call us at (800) 404-6050 to learn more and schedule your first visit today!

View medical disclaimer here.

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