Friday, October 14, 2011

10 Ways to Avoid Shin Splints

Anyone who has ever had a case of shin splints knows what a nagging and debilitating injury they are, and how long and difficult it can be to treat them. It can take as long as six months to recover from shin splints. Also known as tibial stress syndrome, shin splints are usually the result of stress to the bone and connective tissue of the shins, or tibia. There are a number of potential causes, and knowing what they are is the key to injury prevention. The following are 10 ways that you can avoid getting shin splints:

  1. As shin splints are sometimes caused by flat feet, it’s advisable to outfit your shoes with arch supports. Consult with an orthopedist if necessary to get a proper fit. Arch supports will disperse the stress placed upon your shinbones when involved in physical activity.
  2. Provide support and warmth to the muscles in the tibial area by wearing a neoprene sleeve over the lower leg. This will reduce the likelihood of cramping and help with maintaining proper form.
  3. Proper warm-ups and stretching movements prior to athletic activity are strongly recommended. This will reduce tightness in the muscles and, thus, the tendency to cramp.
  4. Shin splints are more likely to occur when performing athletics on hard surfaces, such as concrete or asphalt. It’s best to avoid them in favor of surfaces that will better absorb impact, thus reducing the stress on your lower legs.
  5. Athletic shoes with good padding and support will also reduce the stress on the tibial bone and connective tissue that often lead to shin splints. Again, as with the neoprene sleeves, this is helpful in maintaining proper form and balance.
  6. When you begin to feel pain of any kind in the shins, stop your workout. There’s no such thing as working through the pain.
  7. In some cases, shin splints result when an athlete’s core muscles are not sufficiently developed, creating greater strain on the muscles of the lower extremities. It is therefore important to adequately exercise your core (ie. back, abdominal) muscles as well.
  8. Use of proper exercise form will help reduce the chances of getting shin splints. Avoid leaning too far backward or forward, or pointing your toes outward when running. Over-pronation is a leading cause of shin splints.
  9. Avoid working out on uneven terrain whenever possible, as this exacerbates the potential for shin splints. This is essentially the same as leaning too much, and it will have a similar effect on the muscles.
  10. Get proper rest between exercise sessions and vary your routine as much as possible so as not to fatigue your muscles beyond their ability to fully recover due to overuse.
Taken From NonDiet


  1. Allocate a core workout. Make sure each exercise is significantly different from the others by using the template below. Slot your favourite exercises into the template but remember to rotate exercises regularly.