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Preventing Shin Splints

Shin splints can go from being annoying to flat out debilitating. Shin splints occur when the muscles, tendons and bone covering (periosteum) become inflamed. The pain is typically on the outside or lateral side of the tibia or shin, but occasionally affects the inside or medial portion as well. Quite often it will affect the anterior tibialis muscle that raises your foot upwards. The onset of pain can be slow and over time or be fairly acute as in the soreness you feel a day or two after exercise. The cause, though contraversial, is typically an increase in intensity or distance in running or beginning a running program. The underlying causes can be a weak anterior tibialis or tight calves (gastroc and soleus). Utilizing this simple toe raise exercise will help build strength in the muscle pre-dominately affected an aid in the prevention of the injury.

During the exercise, the athlete leans up against a wall with their knees straight. The athlete then raises their toes up off the ground as high as possible, pause and then lowering back to the ground. Repeat the exercise 10-15 times and perform 3 sets. To decrease the intensity of the exercise and gain more motion, move your feet closer to the wall. As your strength increases, move your feet away from the wall to increase the difficulty.

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