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For cardio enthusiasts, shin splints can be a real 'pain'. We need to know what shin splints are, how to avoid them, and how to treat them. This is a summary of what I know about shin splints based on a training career dating back to 1994.

 

Shin splints are a common injury associated with excessive trauma to the lower legs, as with running and jumping, and with overuse of the muscles surrounding the tibia - the main bone in the lower leg. This injury is one of the worst for an athlete who uses their legs often, because it takes between 2-3 week of rest to heal enough from shin splints to able to participate in their sport.

 

For more information on what causes shin splints, you should read this really helpful post: What are Shin Splints

 

One you have shin splints, they don't go away for several weeks, as I mentioned before. For this reason we must do what we can to avoid shin splints in the first place. To avoid shin splints, we must change at least one of the following conditions of our training:

  • Foot wear.
  • Stretching.
  • Warm ups.
  • Running surface.
  • Training frequency.

For more information about avoiding shin splints, here is a great resource: How to Avoid Shin Spints

 

Some of us will get shin splints no matter what we do; sometimes our biomechanics work against us. No matter what, if we develop shin splints we must identify the cause. Otherwise the injury will keep recurring no matter what we try to do to avoid it. Sometimes the cause is related to our bones and sometimes it is related to our muscles. Either way, there are options we can use to heal quicker, be it stretching, strengthening or applying RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation).

 

For detailed solutions to help you recover form shin splints, here is a great article: How to Treat Shin Splints

 

With all this helpful advice, you have no excuse to repeatedly suffer from shin splints for a long period of time. Whether you are a dedicated sports athlete, a weekend warrior, or a recreational runner, you will need to think about shin splints at some point in your training career. Make the best of it, and shin splints won't hold you back for very long at all.

 

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