Shin splints and running; 3 things you can do now to get relief.
Shin splints are a common complaint of runners. Most runners have suffered through the pain, or worse, had the complaint turn into a stress fracture or stress reaction.
Typically, people with shin splints overpronate, or have feet that fall in and turn out as they walk. This stresses the insertions of the tibialis anterior and posterior muscles. The insertions of these muscles is at the bone, unlike other muscles that have tendons.
People who are growing and have Osgood Schlatter’s disease actually have a bad case of shin splints combined with a growth spurt. The idea that you will suffer for five years until you stop growing has been suggested by pediatricians for years, however, it shows that they have a poor understanding of the condition and how the right type of care and management can make a world of difference in how the child feels during their growing years, and it may even minimize the bump commonly seen as the condition resolves itself.
While methods such as icing and myofascial release can ease the pain, often people switch shoes, wear orthotics and try a number of things to improve how they feel. Unfortunately, some people stop running altogether from the pain, which is aggravated by their runs.
The truth is that certain body styles are more prone to shin pain, with overpronated feet leading the way. Another truth is that the body will compensate for asymmetries in the pelvis, because overpronation by itself creates as twisting motion as you take your step, which distorts the pelvis.
Treating the shins, without realizing that the hips, legs and pelvis are part of the problem is likely to never fully result in lasting pain relief. The condition is actually a problem caused by impact and poor shock absorption. Perhaps, this is why some of the deep pocket shoes that are now popular such as the Hoka 1, because they absorb shock better and distribute it in a way that forces your stride to change.
Growth spurts in young runners is known to aggravate the condition because as we grow, the bones grow first, and the muscles secondarily. Areas that were formerly tight become tighter and the insertions of the muscles are under greater strain than normal, aggravating the condition.
Here are three things you can do now to successfully resolve shin splint pain.
1.Improve your running style. Most people who have shin splints also have a distorted core, weak gluteal muscles, tight calves and weak posterior upper body muscles. Do planks, gluteal kicks, lateral leg raises to improve function. Be sure to relax your shoulders as you run and avoid moving your arms across your body as you counter stride with your arms. Shin splints are generally a problem with impact. A better running style reduces ground impact.
2.Get the right shoe for you, and if necessary, wear a custom or off the shelf orthotic. Some of the newer shoes are designed to absorb shock better than the older models can. Hoka 1 is a shoe that many who experience pain from running are now buying since it absorbs impact better and forces you to change your stride to more of a mid foot rather than a heel strike gait.
3. Find a good sports chiropractor. Most of us are poor at understanding why we hurt. Sometimes, the right eyes, treatment approach and advice can make a world of difference. Something as simple as a treadmill video and evaluation by your doctor of chiropractic can demystify why you hurt. Diagnosing a shin pain problem is easier when you have all the facts and evidence and with runners, a treadmill and a video can be quite helpful.