One of the most common injuries our Burke VA podiatrist comes across, especially among athletes, is shin splints. Essentially, the condition is a result of weak shin muscles and tight calf muscles. Runners that run too much and too soon are often subject to the condition, but other factors can also play a part.
Shin splints are considered an overuse injury because they usually occur when proper rest and recovery time are not allotted for. Your muscles need to be stressed to become stronger, but they also need appropriate recuperation. Our Burke VA podiatrist says that stressing your muscles without such rest will not result in growth, only strain.
Athletes who aim to become stronger and faster may increase their intensity or mileage too quickly and end up further from their goal than they hoped. The key is to listen to your body and take some time off. Stretching both during exercise and downtime are also ways to help strengthen your muscles and keep them healthy.
Especially when running for an extended period of miles, try to run on grass or dirt when possible. Harder surfaces like concrete do not have the same natural give as softer surfaces. Our podiatrist in Burke explains that the hard surfaces add extra stress to your joints and muscles as they lack shock absorption. Even the treadmill is an easier option on your body. This is why varying the surfaces you run on can be beneficial.
Heel striking is an added stress on your shins. Likewise, landing on your toes can overextend your calf muscles, also leading to discomfort. When running, aim to land mid-sole and extend on to your next step from the toes. This allows the pressure from landing and extending to be better distributed throughout the feet and legs. Especially when running downhill, be wary of lunging forward with your feet. Instead, keep your steps short and quick.
If at anytime throughout your run you feel your muscles tighten up, our Burke VA podiatrist encourages you to stop, stretch, and resume when you feel able. If your legs and muscles are in significant discomfort our podiatrist in Burke suggests stopping your run and opting for the rest your body is asking for. Pushing through pain caused by shin splints does not make you stronger, it makes the recovery process longer.
Call our The Podiatry Center if you have any questions about healing your shin splints.
The information provided in this article is not meant to be medical advice and is for educational purposes only. If you would like to learn more about this and other topics related to podiatry, feel free to contact The Podiatry Center, with a convenient podiatry office location near Burke VA, by clicking here or by calling 301.656.6055.