The name "shin splints" generally refers to pain along your "shin" bone (tibia) and falls underneath the category of repetitive stress injury. If you are a runner or play a sport that requires running, then you are at risk for developing shin splints. However, many people can run everyday and not experience any shin splints whatsoever. So obviously there is more to shin splints than simply running around. Some of the more common causes of shin splints that I see in my office are feet problems (usually excessive pronation), tight quads or hamstrings, injuries or weaknesses in hip rotator muscles and patellar tracking issues.
When someone comes into my office for shin splints, they typically present with pain in the lower third to middle area of their shins. inflammation is usually present and easily palpable.
Many times, shin splints can be taken care of by simply resting the area and using ice. An ice massage works well to freeze the area and lower inflammation. However, if you find that you are in pain at rest, or that the pain is getting worse, you should have it looked at by someone who knows what they are doing. Sometimes an x-ray is necessary to see if there are tiny fractures (stress fractures) which would explain your symptoms.
In order to prevent shin splints, proper footwear is a must. if you are flat footed or have collapsing arches, orthotics may be necessary. also, flexibility is very important.
Here are some exercises that may help prevent shin splints
The title to this article is a little misleading because even if you do not ski, the exercises listed below are still fantastic for your health. These exercises are designed to be a full body routine to get you ready for any activity.
This program involves a combination of plyometrics, leg and core exercises. The best way to do this routine is with as little as a break in between each exercise as possible. The less you rest, the more this routine becomes a HIIT (high intensity interval training) routine and you will burn more fat.
To begin with, start with some good old fashioned jumping jacks to get the heart rate going. 15-20 jumping jacks should be sufficient. Then follow the routine below. complete each exercise in succession. repeat the list three times and try to do this 3 days a week.
1. lateral bound (10 total, 5 to each side) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G83OAbqLUI4
2. squat jump (10) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MJ6KJintn70
3. walking lunges (16) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JbnW3RTLEvs
4. reverse lunges (10 total, 5 each side) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h1uSm-0qE9Q
5. bridge 30secs-1minute http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MHQmRINu4jU
6. Side plank 30 seconds a side http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wqzrb67Dwf8
Repeat 2 more times.
Lactic acid is a chemical compound that has always been viewed as a negative thing. Even today, many athletes believe that lactic acid is released during a tough exercise or when a muscle is "out of shape". Lactic acid has even been blamed for the soreness you feel the next day after exercising. But, now we are starting to get a better understanding of what lactic acid does and it seems that it is more of a friend than foe.
The latest research seems to indicate that lactic acid may actually be a fuel source for the muscles, especially during prolonged activities. it is now believed that lactic acid is converted from glucose in order to provide energy.
Science has shown that the reason you are sore the next day or 48 hours after a workout is not due to lactic acid, rather it is due to muscle inflammation and micro-tears.
A personal trainer that I know who is highly regarded in his field has been touting the benefits of lactic acid for years. He correctly believed that the presence of lactic acid causes growth hormone secretion which results in muscle growth and development. For years he has been training his clients with the purpose of getting the body to make lactic acid which leads to growth hormone secretion and eventual muscle growth. His correct view of lactic acid has made him good at what he does.
This is important to understand. when we exercise, in order to get consistent results, we need to stimulate lactic acid production.
Now, when we are sore for a few days after exercising what can we do? If your legs are sore from a workout, the best thing you can do is to "work them". Do something that involves your legs. go for a brisk walk. ride a bike.
Research has shown that pine bark extract helps with post exercise soreness such as muscle cramps. there is evidence that also suggests that pine bark is effective for athletes while they are exercising. This is why i recommend our Navitol to all athletes.
Here is a link of a decent post exercise cool down stretches: