Shin Splints – What Are They and How to Cure Them

Based in North Carolina, Jayne Lessard is a private practice therapist with a master’s degree in clinical psychology from Wheaton College in Illinois. In her free time, Jayne Lessard enjoys staying active by running, hiking, and cycling.

Runners confront many obstacles and potential injuries, with one of the most common being shin splints. The term shin splints refers to the throbbing pain runners experience in their shins after or during their run. Athletes often get shin splints after they increase their workouts too quickly or run on a new surface. Shin splints are also caused by stress fractures in the lower leg bones and overused muscles. Flat feet might also cause shin splints.

Luckily shin splints can heal on their own. Runners are advised to rest and postpone training until the pain eases. Doctors recommend icing the shins 20 to 30 minutes per day every four hours for several days or until the pain is gone. Runners can also take anti-inflammatory painkillers to help with the pain. If the pain does not go away quickly, the situation may require a medical professional’s assistance.

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An Overview of Warming Up and Stretching for Runners

The recipient of a master’s degree in clinical psychology from Wheaton College, Jayne Lessard provides care to patients as a counselor in High Point, North Carolina. Outside of her clinical work, Jayne Lessard enjoys running.

One of the major concerns every runner faces is the threat of injury, a risk that can be minimized by proper stretching. Contrary to popular belief, recent sports science has revealed the stretching is much more effective following a run rather than before the run. Working the muscles and joints is easier when the body is warm and receptive to the elastic movements involved with stretching. In fact, some experts believe that stretching cold muscles and joints can actually heighten a runner’s risk of injury.

Warming up, meanwhile, is an equally important aspect of running that should occur before a workout. Because the body is less likely to be damaged when its temperature has risen, a runner should engage in warm-up activities designed to elevate his or her heart rate and further prepare his or her body for a run.