There is one possible cause of shin splints that gets over-looked more than any other and that is over pronation. If you have a pronation problem you will definitely want to know how to get rid of shin splints because the likelihood is that you will suffer with them frequently. Under pronation is less common and is less likely to cause shin splints but can also cause injuries to the knee, foot and hip and will be covered in a future post.
Pronation is defined as the motion of the foot upon making contact with the ground. Normal pronation is when the outside of the heel touches the ground first and the foot rolls inwards which is normally between a 4 to 6 percent rotation, rotation of less than or greater than these percentages will more than likely lead to a number of problems.
There are many reasons why over pronation may occur, some individuals may have been unfortunate enough to have been born with flat feet, but there are also several other more common explanations for why people suffer with over pronation.
1. Wear and tear of the foot muscles: Muscles will undoubtedly weaken over time because of aging or overuse. The weakening of muscles, in particular those of the foot, will cause the foot to turn inwards – over pronation.
2. Ladies take note…high heels are not good!: Walking in and even standing on high heels for long periods of time puts undue strain and pressure on the foot which will eventually weaken the muscles on the sole of the foot.
3. Wearing shoes that provide inadequate arch support: This is generally the most common reason for the development of over pronation. Continually wearing footwear that doesn’t provide the required amount of arch support will eventually lead to over pronation.
Symptoms of Over Pronation
The symptoms of over pronation are pain through the arch of the foot, instability, heel and ankle pain and of course shin splints. Knee, hip and back pain will also follow should the over pronation be left uncorrected.
Treatment for Over Pronation
The treatment for over pronation can be as simple as simply providing adequate arch support. This support can be provided by wearing supportive shoes which can be specifically made for the individual although this can be expensive. A much easier and far more affordable yet equally as effective treatment for over pronation is the use of orthotic shoe inserts which is the preferred option for many people (you can check out some orthotic shoe inserts and running shoes specifically designed to give orthotic support below).
There are also many other forms of treatment, such as night splints and taping, that may provide good results, but you may end up spending more than you would have done if you bought orthotic inserts and with lesser results overall.
How to find out if you suffer from over pronation
Finding out whether or not you suffer from over pronation is one of the main steps in learning how to get rid of shin splints. An easy method of checking for this condition is the wet foot test.
Simply place a shallow tray of water on the floor and an old newspaper or better still a brown paper bag bigger than the size of your foot in front of it. Place your foot in the water and then stand on the paper. If you compare the wet impression of your foot to the image below you will know if you have an over pronating foot or not, it’s as simple as that!
1. Over Pronation 2. Under Pronation 3. Normal Pronation
Have a great shin splints free day
PS: Did you check out my previous post about treadmills and shin splints?