A new year means a new chance to take a stab at long-term health and happiness goals. For many people, resolutions often include ambitious fitness objectives. Building on your personal strength and stamina can do wonders for your overall health. However, those who push their bodies too hard at the beginning can end up setting themselves back from their goals.
What Are Shin Splints?
Shin splints are a common injury that occurs as a result of overuse of the shin bone. Though any activity that involves using the legs can cause this issue, an increase in running and jumping are likely to overwork the muscles, tendons, and bone tissue. New runners, or those looking to improve the length or intensity of their workout, are likely to experience shin splints.
What Do Shin Splints Feel Like?
Typically when someone is developing shin splints, the first sign is tenderness on the inner side of one or both shin bones. A person might also notice pain or mild swelling in their lower leg. Before the condition worsens, the pain may only be apparent while the person is actively exercising. If a person fails to rest and recover adequately, the issue could develop into a stress reaction or stress fracture.
Preventing Shin Splints
Are you looking to fast-track your 2021 fitness goals? Here are our tips to help you avoid injury and subsequent downtime.
- Stretch before beginning your workout. Warming up the muscles that will be targeted during your workout is essential to preventing injury. Before working out your lower body, be sure to stretch your calves and hamstrings.
- Improve gradually. If you haven’t run in a while (or ever), it may not be a good idea to start with a 5-mile run. Beginning with achievable goals, and slowly increasing your distance or speed, is the best way to condition your body.
- Choose soft surfaces when possible. Choosing to work out on a treadmill or fitness mat over cement is easier on your body. Exercising on a hard surface, like asphalt or a wood floor, may increase your odds of injury.
- Wear appropriate footwear. Selecting a pair of athletic shoes that are adequately supportive, provide a snug-but-comfortable fit, and are specialized to your activity can make a significant difference in your performance and foot health.
- Have custom orthotics made. Custom orthotics can help improve foot control and function. By wearing custom orthotics you can avoid developing shin splints, recover from shin splints, and prevent them from returning.
Everyone’s body is different, and some people will be more likely to experience shin splints no matter what they do. Our foot care specialists are standing by to help you recover from this condition or any other kind of foot or ankle pain. Contact us today to book an appointment.