The term “shin splints”, also known formally as medial tibial stress syndrome, is the name commonly associated with the pain and tenderness that individuals get along the front and inner side of their lower legs.
Getting rid of shin splints COMPLETELY is information that is hard to come by because many experts say that the actual cause of this disorder is still unknown, although it is attributed to overuse among runners and basketball players as well as other sportsmen and women.
Experts state that too much force placed on the shin bones, muscles and ligaments of the lower leg during running and other activities that involve repetitive abrupt starts and stops may contribute to shin splints.
Okay, so you may already know this but why do these ‘so called’ experts also give out treatment advice that will only ever treat the symptoms of shin splints, or in the case of compression socks, make the condition more bearable and therefore neglect treating the root cause of the condition? It is common sense that in order to properly get rid of shin splints the actual cause must be treated. However, there is no denying one thing, and that is prevention is better than cure and this is why the use of certain exercises will help keep shin splints at bay.
Preventative Exercises for Shin Splints
There are certain exercises that can be performed that will help lower the occurrences of shin splints and also assist in the recovery process should you already have shin splints.
The specific exercises of which I am speaking are stretching and strengthening exercises for shin splints. These specific exercises involve the muscles located around the tibia.
Stretching the muscles behind the tibia can help in making these muscles more flexible in preparation for strenuous activities. If the muscles are more flexible, they will be able to function during strenuous activities much better and without the risk of early injury.
Some of these stretching exercises for shin splints include calf and shin stretches, which may be performed in various positions. Stretching the calf with the knee bent stretches only the gastrocnemius, the two-bellied calf muscle that does not cross the knee, while doing it with the knee straight stretches the gastrocnemius and the soleus, the other calf muscle that crosses the knee.
When performing stretching exercises, make sure that you hold the position for 30 seconds and then return to the resting position. The whole stretching exercise consists of 3 repetitions of holding the position for 30 seconds and brief (about 3-5 seconds) rest periods.
Strengthening exercises for shin splints can also assist in developing the ability of the muscles to withstand pressures applied on them. These exercises include toe and heel raises, walking on toes and walking on heels, and resistance exercises for the muscles along the front side of the tibia using elastic exercise bands.
Toe raises, walking on heels, and using elastic exercise bands can condition the muscles located in the front of the tibia, while heel raises and walking on toes strengthen the calf muscles (or the muscles located at the back of the tibia).
In performing toe and heel raises, the individual should be able to complete 10 repetitions of holding the position for 5-7 seconds and brief (about 3 seconds) rest periods. Meanwhile, when using elastic exercise bands, make sure that the resistance generated from the elastic band is strong enough for the muscle being strengthened. It should neither be too light, making it very easy for the individual to move the foot, nor too heavy, making it very stressful for the muscles.
As mentioned previously these stretching and strengthening exercises are not a way of eliminating shin splints rather a very beneficial way of reducing the number of times shin splints actually strike. Like the saying goes, “An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure.”
Earlier in this post I touched on the fact that suggested treatments for shin splints only treat the symptoms of shin splints and that if you wanted to get rid of them altogether then the cause of the problem must be found and treated. Well, I posted an article a while ago on this blog that goes into this subject in more detail and I highly recommend that you read it…the post is called ‘How to Get Rid Of Shin Splints Forever…and Not Only Until The Next Time!‘
Have a great shin splints free day
PS: If you are interested in learning more about stretching exercises for shin splints then this post is very popular with my visitors: ‘3 Shin Splint Stretches That Will Keep Your Splints at Bay’