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Shin splints; Periostitis

What it is:

Shin splints is a common and annoying injury, in the form of an inflammation in the tendon that is located inside and on the lower part of the shin. Often painful to touch, sometimes just painful when having load from walking or running.

Symptoms:

  • Ache, beating or soreness (which also can radiate outwards) in the shin, either in then lower part or in the whole part from the ancle to the knee.
  • Pain when the inflammated area is pushed on.
  • The pain is strongest when starting running, but can decrease or even disappear during running, because the muscular tissue is warmed up and gets softer. The inflammation causes the pain to come back after running.

Caused by:

  • Tired or stiff calf muscles press to hard on the tendons, which then becomes overloaded and torn up.
  • Overpronation worsens the problem.
  • Overload caused by running on hard surfaces, like asphalt.
  • Wrong running technique, e.g. too long steps/pace.
  • Too quick progression/ increase in training load.
  • Wrong or poor shoes.
  • Those being new to running very often  experience  shin splints. The main reason for this is the “sudden” use of muscles that have not been used so hard before.

Treatment and recovery:

  • Rest from running – find alternative training such as swimming and bicycling.
  • Stretch the calf muscles.
  • After activity, use an ice cube, rub it up and down on the calf where the pain is located.
  • Change shoes if needed.
  • Find other running surfaces.
  • Adjust the biomechanics in your feet by using dynamic adapted soles.

Prevention:

  • Proprioseptiv training of the foot: Stand on a balance cushion, or balance on one leg, with closed eyes.
  • Always warm up properly and run with shorter steps (pace).
  • Use running shoes with movement control.
  • Contact a professional who can analyse the load pattern for your feet, in order to get adapted dynamic soles, which in the start should be used in all shoes.

See more about running injuries, preventive exercises and videos here:

Author: Hege Erichsen

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