Understanding causes of and preventing shin splints

Published 10:20 am Friday, April 26, 2013

Now we know some causes of shin splints, let’s go over some possible preventions and treatments. Obviously avoidance should be your main goal, so if you have any physiological conditions with regard to your feet, visit your podiatrist. Make sure you have good footwear. Remember when it comes to shoes you get what you pay for.

Next, strengthen your leg muscles, but do so slowly. One exercise I recommend is to sit in a chair with legs out straight. Point toes away from you (plantarflexion), hold for a few seconds, then pull toes toward you (dorsiflexion), hold, then repeat. Also, stretch your tendons. Tendons hold muscles to  bones, and are much like leather in two ways. First, the more supple tendons are (stretched), the stronger they can hold. Secondly, you can’t condition leather or tendons in one sitting. You need to do it (stretch) day after day. For treatment of shin splints, I recommend icing them (15 minutes at a time), several times a day, elevation, and rest. Wrapping you shins will also help. There are shin splint braces out there, but I’ve found that a 4-inch wide Ace bandage works well.

Diet or exercise question? Email me at dwcrocker77@gmail.com. Or visit fitness4yourlife.org. David Crocker of Landrum has been a nutritionist and master personal trainer for 26 years. He served as strength director of the Spartanburg Y.M.C.A., head strength coach for the USC-Spartanburg baseball team, S.C. state champion girls gymnastic team, and Converse college equestrian team. He served as a water safety consultant to the United States Marine Corps., lead trainer to L.H. Fields modeling agency and taught four semesters at USC-Union. David was also a regular guest of the Pam Stone radio show.

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