Preventing Shin Splints!

Shin splints, also known as Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome (MTSS), are a common place in many athletes’ lives.  This is a typical injury seen in many sports, but has been more commonly associated with running.

Many contributing factors can cause you to feel this pain or discomfort.  It can be from overuse, worn-out shoes, inefficiencies in biomechanics (overpronation, flat feet, tight lower leg muscles, poor running form and technique), or stress fractures running along the bone.  The only way to find out if there are stress fractures along the bone is to see a doctor and have the bone x-rayed.

In my opinion, the main cause of shin splints is overuseExcessive running, exercises that involve running on uneven surfaces (trail running), hard surfaces (concrete), uphill and downhill running, lead greatly to this condition.

Biomechanics play a large part in contracting shin splints as well!  Flat-feet leads to overpronation. Overpronation is when the foot and ankle roll repeatedly inward while walking, running, or jumping. This inward rolling action causes the muscles in the lower leg to be overstretched.

Phewww…..!!!  That’s alot of jargon!  If you are still awake at this point…read on!

I am not telling you that you should stop running or training, but you should be aware of what your body tells you and evaluate your training protocol.  Have one of the trainers evaluate your technique and training curriculum if you run outside of the gym.  If you are running 50+ miles a week and not training for a half-marathon/marathon, you just might be over trained.  Also, preventative maintenance is key to avoiding this kind of injury.

Things you can do to help prevent shin splints are:  getting a proper warm-up before exercising (dynamic movements that mimic the workload or get the blood flowing to the working muscles that you are going to exercise), static stretching the lower leg muscles after exercising, and icing the front of the shin to reduce inflammation (also done after exercising).

Written by Matt

Matthew Brown has been involved in athletics for most of his life. He developed a huge passion for running at a very young age and ultimately competed for Chico State University in Track and Field for 4 years. After graduation he felt the continued drive to be involved in athletics in some way, and pursued a Masters degree in Kinesiology with an emphasis in Exercise Physiology. While working on his degree he was actively involved in the Chico State Track and Field program coaching both sprint and middle distance athletes in addition to working with them on their strength programs. His compassion for fitness and people continued to grow even after finishing his degree. He felt there was still room for growth and improvement in his overall knowledge in fitness and found a new home at Norcal Strength and Conditioning. While training at Norcal he found a new way to be competitive in fitness, and that was in the sport of Crossfit. After competing in a few competitions and training at Norcal for a year and a half he decided to pursue an opportunity as a personal trainer. He is excited to be a part of the sense of community and compassion that surrounds NorCal strength and Conditioning. Before Matthew attained his Masters degree in Kinesiology, he obtained his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with an option in Management. He has been a supervisor for over 13 years at a large canning and packaging corporation. Working with a variety of people offers many types of challenging situations and Matthew loves to be a part of these experiences. With his long history of involvement in management and athletics, Matthew has the skills, leadership, and enthusiasm to help motivate any person from any walk of life to achieve their fitness goals.

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1 Comment

  1. Your style iss very unique compaared to other people I’ve read stuff from.
    I appreciate you for posting whn you have the opportunity, Guess I will just boook mark
    this page.


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