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Richardson Podiatry Center

Causes of Shin Splints and How to Prevent Them

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How to Treat and Prevent Shin SplintsUnderstanding the causes of shin splints, and how to avoid them in the first place, will help you be able to enjoy all that Richardson, TX has to offer, especially if you like running. One great thing about living near a major city like Dallas is having lots of options with regard to fun runs. If you’d like to help make a difference for pediatric cancer, then THE GREAT AMAZING RACE is for you! Taking place on February 28 at 3:00 PM, the one-mile course is speckled with fun challenges, much like in the TV show The Amazing Race. This is a fun time to benefit a great cause, so don’t let shin splints ruin your day.

There are essentially two main causes of shin splints: either you exert too much pressure on lower leg muscles or there’s an excessive impact on the bones. Each leads to swelling in the muscles, which then creates pressure against your tibia (shinbone). The resulting pressure, in turn, creates pain and inflammation. So we know that too much pressure or impact will cause shin splints, but when do these situations actually occur?

Running downhill or on uneven terrain, wearing inappropriate or ill-fitting shoes while running, or participating in physical activities or sports that have fast starts and stops are all ways that you can place the force on your shin to cause this injury. Additionally, lack of flexibility, muscle weakness, and biomechanical abnormality can also result in the condition.

There are several steps you can take to avoid ending up with shin splints, including;

  • Increase exercise frequency, duration, or intensity gradually, not suddenly

  • Warm up properly before exercising

  • Stretch thoroughly after your warm-up

  • Opt for shoes that offer good support and fit well

  • Vary your workouts to avoid overuse and repeated trauma on the same muscles

  • Use strength training to build leg muscles, especially your calves

Treatment for shin splints often centers on RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation) therapy and switching to low-impact activities like swimming, walking, or yoga until the condition improves.

You can try to avoid sore shins with careful exercise planning, but Richardson Podiatry Associates is here for you if that fails. Should you have questions, or require treatment for any foot or ankle condition, simply call our Richardson, TX office at (972) 690-5374 or use our online form to set up an appointment.

Photo Credit: Sura Nualpradid via FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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