How to Sidestep Shin Pain

This content provides helpful ways how to sidestep shin pain.

Treadmill machines are convenient, no doubt about it. But they’re harder on your legs than an outdoor track or trail would be. Research conducted by the US-based National Strength and Conditioning Academy (NSCA), suggests that for treadmill running to mimic road running, it should be set at an incline of at least 1 percent.

Shin pain can have dozens of causes ranging from bad choice of shoes to bad walking techniques to certain foot conditions like flat feet. It’s unlikely that a meager 2 percent incline is the culprit. Perhaps it is your zeal for your new fitness toy has caused an overuse injury. If you’ve boosted your exercise time or intensity since getting the treadmill (that was the whole point, wasn’t it?), your muscles may not have had time to adjust to the demands you have been making on them. The connective tissue that attaches the muscles to the bone might have torn. It’s likely that that’s what’s smarting. Here’s how to sidestep shin pain.

·         Make sure you walk using proper form. Heel-to-toe, heel-to-toe, knees soft (not locked), shoulders rolled back and down, brace yourself (exhale, Kegel and engage your abs), and find a comfortable stride length to avoid over striding.

·         Gradually increase your speed and distance. Make 10 percent increments in your workout per week. Either increase speed or distance by 10 percent per week. Try alternating your treadmill workouts with a visit to a track or trail a couple of times a week.

·         Standing and seated calf raises will help strengthen your “walking” muscles.

·         Post walk pay particular attention to your Anterior Tibialis (shins) while stretching each muscle at least 2-4 times for 30 seconds.

·         Make sure your shoes fit snugly, support your arch, and don’t allow your ankles to lean either inward or outward. You should replace running/walking shoes every 250 miles or so. The next time you’re shopping for a pair, spend a little extra for a brand that offers adequate cushioning good forefoot flexibility and a lower heel; they’ll be kinder to your shins.

·          If you think you’ve been overdoing it, take a few days off and see if the discomfort goes away. Taking ibuprofen and applying a cold pack ought to help you feel better. (If the pain is severe and doesn’t lessen after three days, you should contact your doctor.)

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