Fitness and Wellness 7 easy ways to handle shin splits

Shin splints are small tears in the area where the lower leg muscle attaches to the tibia, also known as the shinbone.

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Shin splits

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Shin splints are small tears in the area where the lower leg muscle attaches to the tibia, also known as the shinbone.

These tears result from overuse, and since the pavement taxes your muscles more than a treadmill, not to talk off our dented Nigerian roads, many runners complain of shin pain when they first begin outdoor runs.

Shin splints often occur because the calf muscle becomes stronger than the tibialis anterior, the muscle on the outside of the shin.

Even if the ache isn't that bad, it's still a minor injury.

Pushing through the pain could result in more severe tears which could in turn lead to an injury that could sideline your running routine altogether.

Here are 7 easy ways to deal with chin splits!

  1. Check your form: Landing on the heel can result in shin splints, knee injuries, or a pulled calf muscle. To prevent shin pain, focus on landing midfoot rather than on the heel.

  2. Strengthen the lower leg muscles: Since shin splints can be caused by muscular imbalance, strengthen the muscles in the lower legs by doing variations of walking on your toes and heels as well as this seated shin-strengthening exercise using a dumbbell.

  3. Run on softer surfaces: Pavement is tough on the joints and muscles. As opposed to asphalt, running on dirt roads or woodsy trails could eliminate the pain immediately.

  4. Don't skip stretching: Make time for stretches that target the lower legs, including calf stretches, even on days you don't exercise.

  5. Don't just run: Cross-train with other types of exercise to strengthen all your muscles and to maintain flexibility. Bike, swim, hike, walk, do yoga, and hit the weight room at your gym

  6. Rest: Some days of rest are in order, but that doesn't mean you have to stop all physical activity. Do low-intensity exercise that doesn't aggravate your shins, such as walking or swimming laps. If resting doesn't help, then make an appointment with your doctor to ensure it's not something more serious like a stress fracture.

  7. Ice your shins when needed: Taking a full ice bath may not be the best idea during the colder months, but using an icing cup for massage protects your fingers from freezing and provides a perfectly sized contact point for troubled shins.

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