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05/19/2017
We here at Athletic Republic in Orange County recently offered some advice on avoiding and dealing with runner’s knee, and today we’d like to let you know a few things you can do to make sure you don’t fall prey to another all too common injury—shin splints—and what to do should you experience them.

What are shin splints?

Repeated trauma to the connective tissue in the lower leg can lead to severe pain in the shin, colloquially termed ‘shin splints’. It’s a common injury among runners, due to the level of stress their legs undergo, but it can affect any athlete that puts pressure on their legs during a workout.

Prevention

Warming up properly before every workout is an absolute must if you want to avoid injuries including shin splints. Start with some dynamic stretching and light cardio to allow your heart rate to build up slowly. Make sure your dynamic stretches target your legs, including lunges, runners’ stretches, and hamstring and calf stretches. More specific exercises to dodge shin splints are toe lifts (with one knee bent and the other leg straight out at a 45 degree angle, reach down and pull up on the toes of the straight leg) and toe curls (stand on a towel and try to grip it with your toes as if your feet were another pair of hands!).

Treatment

The most important thing is to cut out any training that stresses your shins as soon as you start to experience shin splints. Apply ice to the affected area for half-hour periods 2 or 3 times a day to help reduce any inflammation, and take some anti-inflammatory painkillers if the pain is severe (ibuprofen and aspirin both fight inflammation). Take the time to thoroughly stretch your legs and perform range-of-motion exercises to help speed up your recovery. Once your shins are feeling better, make sure to start training again gently and pay attention to your body. If the pain starts to return, make sure not to just run through it, as you could set back your recovery by days or even weeks.

If you want to take advantage of the best in scientifically-developed, targeted support, then enlist the help of Athletic Republic for the best sports training in Orange County. Call (714) 972-2762 to learn more or to get started today; we’d love to hear from you!