Many runners, especially newbies, run the risk (no pun intended) of experiencing running injuries. Running can be a highly impactful cardio exercise. It has many benefits associated with the mind and body that can give you a very beneficial experience. In addition to being a great form of cardio workout, it can also do a world of good for your mood and mental well-being to go for a run on a warm summer morning with the sun out and the birds singing.
Nobody wants to ruin this feeling of a healthy mind and body by encountering a troublesome running injury. People all too often start a healthy new endeavor such as a running regimen without the prior knowledge of how to properly stretch, train, and maintain their routine.
Medial tibial stress syndrome, more commonly known as “shin splints”, is perhaps the most common form of running injury. When not treated properly or given its proper time to heal, however, it can be very disruptive to your running regimen. Shin splints are best characterized by a pain that occurs towards the front and along the inside or down the outside of your lower leg. There are, however, preventive measures you can take to avoid this very common problem.
The first thing you should do to prevent shin splints from occurring in the first place, is to take great care in stretching out before starting a run. Properly stretching the Achilles, calf, and arch of the foot will go a long way in preventing shin splints in the first place. The next thing you can do is to increase distance by very small increments. Shin splints often occur from greatly increasing your distance too much and too soon.
If you are unfortunate enough to already have shin splints or encounter them in the future, the acronym to remember is RICE; or Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. To treat shin splints properly, you need to take the proper time away from your running program by resting your leg for an adequate time off. This will give your tibia the amount of time away from impact that it needs to heal. Icing while elevating the affected leg will help with the pain and get you back to your running program in no time.
As with anything else, knowledge goes a long way in treating the problem, and you can enjoy your routine of healthy mind and body again very quickly just by being prepared. Remember…if you are having any foot or ankle related pain you should contact our Des Peres podiatry office today.
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