My roommate has shin splints. She’s been running a lot at the recreation and wellness center on campus and she came back from her workout today complaining of pain in her shins.
I’ve gotten shin splints twice in my life. The first time was when I first joined the track team in eighth grade, and the second happened this past summer after I had been training unusually hard for a fourth of July 5K.
I was told by my track coach to do a series of stretches before and after my run to treat shin splints. One stretch was to walk a few feet on my heels, then on my very tiptoes. I do these stretches every now and again when I feel a tightness in my lower shins and I think they make a difference.
But what exactly are shin splints? According to MedicineNet.com, shine splints seem to be the result of inflammation due to injury of the tendon, posterior peroneal. Shin splints can be caused by a sudden intensity of workouts or workout schedule. This makes sense that my roommate has shin splints because she’s been updating me on her running lately, and announced she ran her first mile without stopping just a few days ago. (She’s a smoker, so cut her some slack, actually, don’t cut her slack on the smoking, but she’s a beginning runner – yay!)
I’ve been thinking lately how hard running is on the body however. Shin splints, runner’s knee, hamstring issues, stress fractures. It’s hard work and you put a lot of stress on your body when you’re pounding the pavement.
Here are a few tips that I think every runner should keep in mind when running:
- Don’t go “too” hard. A lot of runners over-push themselves and go too hard. Don’t over train yourself. Yes, you want to be competitive and don’t take it easy on yourself, but keep in mind that there’s always tomorrow’s run.
- Be kind to your feet. You should be wearing proper running shoes. They should be comfortable and snug, but also not cutting off the circulation in your feet.
- Stretch after your run. That’s the best time to help yourself retain muscle memory.
- Make sure you’re healed. If you’ve suffered from an injury in the past, and you want to get back out there, make sure you are healed and ready to return.
These tips have been a combination of tips I’ve seen on RunnersWorld.com and Active.com. Search for running tips often, as new products, races and studies come out on the dynamics of running.
Do you guys have any running tips that have really made a difference?
4 thoughts on “A Runners Injury Update”
I definitely think you should stretch before you run. I ran cross country and track back in the day and we spent a good half hour stretching before practices or meets. It’s just good to keep your muscles loose. Have you ever been running and a muscle in your arm tightened up on you? It’s a bit harder to run and stretch your arm at the same time. Lol. Now that I’m older I find that I feel a little better if I just stretch a little as soon as I get out of bed. Makes me sound ancient, huh? Gets the blood flowing and wakes me up!
Now, for the shin splints. Ice, ice, ice. Seems so simple, right? I used to get shin splints all the time when I would switch from sport to sport in high school. From soccer to basketball to softball. I found this trick that helped. Freeze water in Dixie cups. You don’t have to fill it up all the way….just about halfway. Once the water is frozen you can take the cup out and start peeling away the cup to expose the ice. Rub the ice on your shins (it feels amazing!) and as the ice retreats just keep peeling away the cup. Viola!
Alexander, I’ve heard it’s not wise to stretch before running and to stretch afterward when your muscles are more loose. But there are certain stretch type techniques for your shins you can do before but I’m not sure how much stretching I’d recommend before going out on a run.
Brittany, I played volleyball and softball for 12 years, so I can definitely relate to running being a punishment in practice and when you or your teammates messes up! I remember seeing a shirt that the track team purchased one year that said “Our sport is your sport’s punishment.” Which is very true and kind of funny, especially since I became all about running once I graduated high school.
I know how your roommate feels with getting injuries and shine splints. I played soccer all throughout my younger years and I have had my fair share of shine splints, side aches, and reoccurring ankle sprains. I know my body went through some major workouts because my coach seemed to be very moody and if one person messed up, everyone paid for it. Some people might think your body would get used to that and since I had been doing it for many years. I never did though. Even to this day even though I’m not involved in soccer anymore I still do workout on a regular basis at the rec center and find myself getting those shine splints and muscles aches. I liked how you gave tips on running because I have heard that it can be bad for the body so it is important people take these into consideration when going for that evening run. I think everything can be bad for the body in some way no matter if it’s walking, jogging, or running. For now, it seems like a good way to keep in shape and I’m all about that.
I have had shin splints myself in high school. They were very painful. So taking the necessary steps to preventing shin splints is very important. Your tips are good steps to take in preventing shin splints, you’ve pretty much covered everything that i would do. The only thing i would add is if you had a prior injury you should run with a brace. Also, it would be wise to stretch before you run.