How to Avoid Shin Splints

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Posted August 21, 2013 by Sara Hauber in Life After Five
avoid shin splints while power walking

Can you avoid shin splints while exercising outdoors?

The weather is gorgeous. You love running or walking outdoors, taking in the sun while working up a sweat.

Suddenly, one day, the fronts of your lower legs are so painful that you can’t even take a normal stride, let alone get going at a fast enough pace to qualify as a workout.

You have shin splints.

Whenever I or my clients have had shin splints, the problem has been immediately remedied by replacing ill-fitting footwear with shoes a half-size or size larger.

Shin splints are a relatively common problem for those of us who enjoy vigorous walking or running outdoors. They occur when the muscles or tendons along the tibia, the bone in the front of the lower part of the leg, become inflamed. Typical causes of such inflammation include ill-fitting or worn-out footwear, and repetitive stress from cardiovascular exercise on hard surfaces.

Whenever I or my clients have had shin splints, the problem has been immediately remedied by replacing ill-fitting footwear with shoes a half-size or size larger, or replacing work-out footwear with a new sole or brand new pair. It’s amazing just how quickly the problem resolves–or never arises–by staying on top of your athletic-shoe purchases.

So how can you avoid shin splints?

  • Buy athletic shoes at least 1 size bigger than your regular street shoes
  • Have your athletic shoes fitted by experts
  • Replace your athletic shoes every few months, depending on your activity level, and only wear street shoes with proper arch support and of proper size for your foot

If you get shin splints, despite replacing your shoes for properly fitted ones:

  • Ice the front of the lower leg, and take a mild anti-inflammatory if the pain is acute
  • Do some foot and ankle strengtheners, like the simple ones I teach in the Hauber Methodâ„¢, so you can regain healthy alignment of your foot and ankle
  • Rest a couple of days until the swelling subsides; “running through the pain” is NOT advised for shin splints

With these tips, I hope you will remain shin splint-free and happy as you enjoy this perfect outdoor-activity weather!


About the Author

Sara Hauber

Sara Hauber, M.A., is a certified wellness coach, yoga teacher, and functional-fitness specialist whose mission is to help you overcome obstacles to achieve radiant health and vitality. Since undergoing complete spinal fusion for scoliosis, Sara has been empowering others to transform their bodies, eliminate pain, and embrace joy, love, and life. In 2012 she introduced The Hauber Methodâ„¢, her signature at-home method for eliminating back pain: haubermethod.com.

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