Overview of Shin Splints

Definition of Shin Splints

Medical (Symptom) Definition: Inflammation, aching, or tenderness of the tendons that attach to the inside of the front of the lower legs from the ankle to the knee.

Physiological (Cause) Definition:

Shin splints are a repetitive strain injury involving lower leg muscles and tendons and the point where they attach to lower leg bones. It is characterized by tight tibialis posterior, gastrocnemius or soleus muscles/tendons and typically weak tibialis anterior, extensor hallucis or digitorum longus muscles/tendons.

Foot Trainer Exercises address the cause by correctly relaxing tight posterior lower leg muscles/tendons and strengthening weak anterior lower leg muscles/tendons.

Contributing Factors

To end shin splint pain you must address the cause and your contributing factors. The following are some of the most common contributing factors and information you can use to address them.

Training errors

Running on concrete or hard surfaces.

Beginning a running program or increasing mileage too quickly places excessive stress on leg muscles that have are not used to the extra pounding.

Trying to run through the pain.

Improper footwear

Shoes that are worn, that don't fit properly or are inappropriate for the activity.

Age

The natural aging process (sarcopenia) that leads to a gradual loss of muscle mass throughout your body starts at age 30. By age 50 the average person will lose 30% of their muscle mass and 10 % every decade thereafter. It is not surprising that Shin splints is most common in people over 30. You can't stop the aging process however you can slow it down by improving your muscles.

Neglect

"Use them or lose them " may be a cliché but it is true. Foot and leg extensor muscles are probably the most neglected muscles in our bodies because we take them for granted and many of the traditional exercises ignore them. Foot Trainer Exercises allow you the ability to perform safe, complete and effective exercises that target typically neglected extensor muscles.

Constant and over use

Your weight bearing flexor muscles are among the most constantly used muscles in the body. When they become injured it is difficult to rest them properly. Occupations or activities that require long periods of standing, walking, running or a sudden increase or change in the duration or intensity places tremendous amounts of force. Stronger more flexible muscles can help handle constant and over use.

Weight

Extra body weight translates into extra stress on your foot and leg muscles, tendons, ligaments and bones. Stronger foot and leg muscles will handle extra body weight more effectively.

Muscle imbalances

Tired or inflexible calf muscles place stress on tendons at their point of attachment. Any biomechanical misalignment from your toes to your lower back could cause strain on your legs. Foot Trainer exercises are designed to help improve proper biomechanics.

Dehydration

The human body is roughly 75% water and acts as a lubricant permitting bones and connective tissues slide against each other. If your body is dehydrated, your muscles, tendons and ligaments will be too. Proper hydration requires 6-8 glasses of spring water per day. For every cup of coffee, soft drink or alcoholic beverage, add 2 additional glasses of spring water.

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