Shin Splints are one of the most common injuries runners have to face. Shin splints are considered soft tissue injuries since they involve injuries to the tendons and muscles. The pain from shin splints is due to the muscles and/or tendons being strained or torn. This pain is experienced across the shin area, along the tibia.
Shin splints are most common with beginning runners because their muscles are not yet used to the strain running can put on them. Seasoned runners may also experience shin splints, especially when they make changes to their running regiment like running a lot of hills when they are used to running on level ground. Additionally, if a seasoned runner drastically increases the amount of running they are doing, such as starting to train for a marathon when they are used to running 10K races, they may experience shin splints.
It is also important when starting to train after an injury to gradually increase your running distances so you do not risk shin splints due to your muscles being in a weakened state.
While tired or inflexible calf muscles are a common cause of shin splints, worn-out shoes or a lack of proper cushioning, over-pronation, and running on hard surfaces can also contribute to shin splints.
For the majority of runners, shin splints are due to the stress of overuse of the muscles in the lower leg that are not used to the type of stress run for extended periods can place on the muscles and tendons.
One of the first things to do is to make sure you have quality shoes that properly cushion and support your feet. Dr. Gary Olson can do an orthotics exam to determine if you need custom orthotics. Remember, no matter how good your shoes are, they will breakdown sooner or later and need to be replaced. Worn-out shoes will not properly protect your feet.
Gradually Increase Your Distances
In training for long-distance running, particularly marathons or half-marathons, it is important to gradually increase how far you run while training. A general rule is to never increase your weekly mileage by more than 10 percent a week.
Remember to always warm-up before stretching. Stretching before and after running is important to avoid injuries. In addition to stretching your leg muscles, work on stretching the muscles throughout the hip and lower back areas. Proper stretching not only helps prevent injuries but speeds in recovery from training, increases flexibility, lengthens the muscle tissue, and allows you to build stronger muscles.
Recovery from Training
One of the common causes of shin splints is overuse. It is important to get the proper amount of rest and sleep between training sessions. If you allow your body to get worn down, you become more susceptible to shin splints and other injuries. Proper nutrition is also important to sustain your energy and keep your bones strong.
Treating shin splints, and getting you back to running again is something Dr. Gary Olson is highly skilled at accomplishing. Dr. Olson will use a combination of treatments including Active Release Techniques (A.R.T.), Cold Laser Therapy, ice treatments, and custom orthotics.
Custom orthotics are useful in preventing shin splints and assisting with recovery from shin splints. Every serious runner should have a check done to see if they need custom orthotics. If you haven't had this test done, please contact Dr. Gary Olson to arrange an appointment.
Dr. Gary Olson is certified in Active Release Techniques (A.R.T.), which is used to speed the healing of soft tissue injuries. Shin splints are a soft tissue injury, and the use of A.R.T. will break up the scar tissue, help restore range of motion, ease pain, and speed up your recovery.
Cold Laser Therapy is an extremely effective and cost-effective way of treating tendon pain, strains, sprains, and other aspects of shin splint injuries. It also significantly reduces healing times.
Dr. Gary Olson will also use ice treatments do reduce inflammation in shin splint injuries. After evaluating the severity of your shin splint injuries, he will give you a treatment schedule of icing you can follow after you leave his office.
If you are suffering from shin splints please contact Dr. Gary Olson at 631.462.0917 to arrange an appointment or use our convenient online form. If you are a runner who has not yet had a test to see if you need custom orthotics please contact us right away so we can help prevent shin splints or other running injuries.
© 2018 Dr. Gary Olson DC, PC, The Long Island Spine & Sports Injury Center
These articles are the property of Dr. Gray Olson DC, PC. They may not be reused without permission. You are welcome to link to this article. Dr. Gary Olson has been proudly serving Long Island, NY since 1999.
The contents of this website are based upon the opinions and experience of Dr. Olson. The information on this site is not intended as medical advice. The information contained on this website is a sharing of knowledge based on the experience, training, and research of Dr. Olson. Dr. Olson recommends that patients make their health care decisions after doing their research and consulting with a qualified health care professional.
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