I am having a little shin splint trouble at the moment, and decided to learn about it. I am taking Brad Walker, the author of the following article, up on his offer to post and share his article. Be sure to follow the link and check out his site for The Stretching Institute. Happy Thanksgiving, and may you not be troubled by shin splints!
Shin Splints and
Shin Splints Treatment
Learn the causes behind Shin Splints,
their treatment and prevention.
Although the term shin splints is often used to describe a variety of lower leg problems, it actually refers specifically to a condition called Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome (MTSS). To better understand shin splints, or MTSS, lets have a look at the muscles, tendons and bones involved.
- The Tibia and Fibula. These are the two bones in the lower leg. The tibia is situated on the medial, or inside of the lower leg. While the fibula is situated on the lateral, or outside of the lower leg.
- There are also a large number of the muscles that attach to the tibia and fibula. It's these muscles, when overworked, that pull on the tibia and fibula and cause the pain associated with shin splints.
While there are many causes of shin splints, they can all be categorized into two main groups. Overload (or training errors), and Biomechanical Inefficiencies.
- Exercising on hard surfaces, like concrete;
- Exercising on uneven ground;
- Beginning an exercise program after a long lay-off period;
- Increasing exercise intensity or duration too quickly;
- Exercising in worn out or ill fitting shoes; and
- Excessive uphill or downhill running.
- Poor running mechanics;
- Tight, stiff muscles in the lower leg;
- Running with excessive forward lean;
- Running with excessive backwards lean;
- Landing on the balls of your foot; and
- Running with your toes pointed outwards.
Prevention, rather than cure, should always be your first aim. I was very surprised when researching this topic at the number of articles that totally neglected any mention of preventative measures. They all talked of treatment and cure, but only one out of twenty took the time to address the issue of prevention in any detail.
Firstly, be sure to remove the cause of the problem. Whether is be a biomechanical problem, or an overload problem, make sure steps are taken to remove the cause.
Article by Brad Walker. Brad is a leading stretching and
sports injury consultant with nearly 20 years experience
in the health and fitness industry. For more articles on
stretching, flexibility and sports injury, please visit
The Stretching Institute.