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MOVE

Give shin splints the slip

Runners can fall victim to shin splints and end up having to be sidelined instead of enjoying the sport they love. Fortunately, there are simple tweaks and tricks you can employ to nip shin splints in the bud.  

Stop them from starting
Check your gear. 

  • Shoes should be replaced every 450-500 miles or sooner if you carry extra weight.
  • Be fitted by a running specialist to ensure you're wearing the correct type of shoe.
  • Purchase a running watch to help ensure you don't overdo it. This helps you monitor your time and mileage.

Switch up your workouts and avoid overdoing it early on.

  • A common cause of shin splints is doing too much, too soon. Gradually increase time, distance and speed.
  • Performing the same distance, speed or route of running can lead to injury, so mix up your training. Try running hills, interval sprints, trail running and other types of activities like biking or swimming.

Shin splints are often a secondary result of poor running mechanics or weak muscles, so strengthen your support muscles.

  • Hips: Side-lying leg raises, four sets of 15 repetitions each side
  • Core: Planks, four sets of 30-60 seconds
  • Hamstrings: Leg curls on a ball, four sets of 10-15 repetitions

Already have shin splints?
Immediately ice your shins for 10-15 minutes after workouts to reduce inflammation and relieve pain. These shin splint-specific exercises will help you with long-term relief: 

  • Leaning toe raises: Leaning with your back against a wall and your weight in your heels, slowly raise and lower your toes, making sure they don't touch the ground. Do four sets of 20 repetitions.
  • Stair toe raises: With your toes on the edge of a step, raise and lower your heels, allowing your heels to dip below the stairs with each movement. Do four sets of 10-15 repetitions. 

Make sure to seek medical attention if your pain seems to persist, your symptoms are not improving with the above tips or if you're having increasing pain in your daily activities.

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