Be Prepared: How Runners Get Shin Splints

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Colorado is a wonderful place for active athletes and people who love health and adventure. With events like the Denver Challenge urban adventure race, you can usually find something nearby that challenges you. This particular race, taking place June 20, 2015, is a team event that combines running with fun puzzle-solving to complete the course. One painful puzzle that challenges many runners—beginners and experienced racers alike—is shin splints. Anyone can get them, but you certainly don’t have to if you know how to prevent them. Knowing how runners get shin splints can help you avoid the painful problem altogether and enjoy your race, or any other activities, without discomfort.

Shin splints are an overuse injury that plague many runners. They’re particularly common with beginners, who have a high risk of overworking their shins. They aren’t exclusive to newbies, however, which just goes to show that many runners take for granted how the problem is developed and how they can prevent it. When you know the common culprits, though, you can take steps to protect your shins and run safely:

  • Overtraining – Running harder, longer, or farther than your body can handle is a sure way to exhaust and stress out your feet and shins. Over time, the excessive stress will inflame your shin tissues.
  • Sudden Change in Your Activities – If you suddenly switch from a treadmill to pavement, or start running hills, or add any new factor to your training and don’t condition your feet to handle it, your shins can quickly become overworked.
  • Worn Out Shoes – Worn out or poorly fitted shoes don’t support your feet the way they should. Instead of helping you deal with hard impacts, they can contribute to biomechanical problems.
  • Biomechanical Issues – Flat feet, rigid arches, and overpronation, among other things, do not absorb hard impacts efficiently. The excess shock instead gets absorbed by your shins.
If you know you have a high risk for getting shin splints from running for one reason or another, you can start working now to prevent the problem and protect your lower limbs. Our team at Podiatry Associates, P.C. can help you every step of the way to keep your feet and shins healthy and strong so you can run pain-free. Just call our Parker and Castle Pines, CO, offices at (303) 805-5156 for an appointment or more information today.
Dr. Cynthia Oberholtzer-Classen, DPM
Founder and Owner of Podiatry Associates, PC
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