Monday, December 10, 2012

Shin Splints... An Unneccesary Evil

Whenever we speak with our non-runner friends, we are often met with squinty-eyed looks of confusion and annoyance at our love of such a horrible activity.  As it turns out, many people think running just hurts and there is no way around it.  FALSE!  Unfortunately, many of us were forced to run as conditioning for other sports when we were younger and may not have had proper equipment or training, which lead to discomfort.  So, you avoided the sport for years until your lightning quick adolescent metabolism ran out and you realized you were going to have to exercise more to maintain your physique.

When people start an exercise routine as adults, running or walking is almost always a part of that routine.  Why?  Because it's FREE and you don't need 20 people and two teams to participate!  The problem comes when running still hurts like crazy.  (I see you nodding right now.)  One of the most common running injuries is shin splints, which is pain in, you guessed it, your shins.  Below is an excellent video to help both explain this injury in more detail and to give you tips to get rid of them so running doesn't hurt anymore!  As you watch, you will see that proper equipment (read: shoes) can make a big difference in preventing shin splints.  We can help with that!

Inside the Doctor's Office: Keep Shinsplints Away | Runner's World & Running Times

However, runners are also notorious for being inflexible and weak. There are some great tips in the video for exercises you can do to minimize shin pain. Regardless of whether or not you have pain (yet), you should be looking into incorporating strength training, stretching, and cross training of some kind into your regular routine. You need to take care of your body by limiting impact, using as many muscle groups on a regular basis as possible, and generally making sure that you have the core, hip, and glute strength needed to keep you healthy.

Shin splints are a common injury, but they don't have to be!  See your doctor if you believe you might have a stress fracture, tone down your training to heal if you are currently experiencing pain, and then take the necessary steps to make sure you can enjoy your runs pain-free from now on.  If you have experienced shin splints and have questions or, better yet, suggestions that worked for you to get rid of them, please leave a comment below!

Happy Monday, everyone!

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