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New Runner Tips: Preventing Shin Splints

So you’re new to running and you’re trying to build healthy habits. The last thing you want as you build discipline and improve in your running is to sit out with an injury for a few weeks. Running is a great sport, but it is also prone to several common overuse problems. Shin splints is one of the more troublesome issues. It can take weeks for the pain to disappear and your feet to be rehabbed enough for you to run again. As any experienced runner knows, it’s much better to start preventing shin splints before they happen than have to suffer and recover.

Shin splints are a problem with painful inflammation in the tissues in the front of your lower leg, running along the front of your shin bone. The irritated tissues burn and ache when you try to run. Sometimes they can swell, too. All of this is a result of overworking your feet and lower legs. Your limbs can’t handle the strain appropriately, so inflammation damage sets in.

If you prepare your feet and lower legs for the stress correctly, though, you can avoid the painful problem altogether. Here are a few simple running tips to help you keep your lower limbs healthy:

  1. Get the right shoes – Have your running shoes properly fitted to meet your stride and foot structure needs. Always replace worn out pairs.

  2. Use arch supports if you need them – If you have arch trouble, get inserts to help support them. Running orthotics are specifically designed for this purpose.

  3. Cross train – Don’t run every single day. Instead, break up your routine by cross-training with low impact sports, like swimming or biking, which put less stress on your feet and shins while still building strength.

  4. Condition your feet – Do foot exercises that strengthen the supporting muscles in your lower limbs. Toe curls, heel rises, and other exercises strengthen your feet for the strain of running.

If you notice you’re developing shin pain, don’t push through it. You can still work on preventing shin splints by scaling back your runs and going slower. Let our team at Gulf South Foot & Ankle, LLC in Metairie, LA, help you run without pain. If you’d like more running tips, or you need to take care of a foot problem before it gets out of hand, call our office at (504) 708-4810 or request an appointment online.

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