Shin Splints: Gait Ch-Ch-Changes!

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Shin Splints:

What are Shin Splints?

Pain or tenderness along the shinbone which often occurs after increasing physical activity rapidly or with jobs that require a lot of walking or standing for long periods of time. Generally, comes on slowly over time but if not treated properly can progress to a stress fracture. Initial treatment should include rest from aggravating activity and ice. Switch to low impact forms of exercise to reduce stress to shins.

Gait Analysis

The amount of activity plays a role, but how you run, or walk can also contribute to the formation of shin splints. Research has found that 13 different mechanical faults can attribute to shin splints. Consider working with a Physical Therapist who is skilled at using slow motion video to analyze your gait with walking and running to identify movement faults. This will allow for more tailored treatment but for some stretches for pain relief see below.

Rolling Calves and Shins

Use a foam roller, tennis ball, racquet ball etc. to find tender and tight spots in the calves and shin. Try rolling for 2-3 minutes per day.

Foam rolling the calf area.

Soleus Stretch

Stand facing the wall/surface with feet shoulder width apart and feet staggered. Lean into the wall, bending back knee so stretch is felt in lower calf. Hold for 30 seconds.

A person performing a soleus stretch with bent knee.