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Injury Time Out With Capilano Rehab | Shin Splints With Brendan Lehman

| May 24, 2017 | Reply

Runner - running shoes closeup of woman barefoot running shoes.Finally, the sun has decided to shine and the leaves have begun to sprout!   Time to shake off those winter cobwebs and get out for a jog. As mentally therapeutic as those first runs can be, physically they often can be hard on our legs. Too much running too fast can put a repetitive loaded stress on our lower leg muscles and cause medial tibia pain, or in layman’s terms shin splints.

Shin splint pain most commonly occurs on the medial side of the tibia (inner shin) but can also cause pain on the lateral side (outer shin) as well. Muscle imbalance and inflexibility in the gastrocnemius, soleus, and plantaris (the three main muscles of the calf) are commonly associated with shin splints. When the muscles are tight or there is a muscular imbalance in the calf, the muscles become fatigued during prolonged exercise, leading to altered running mechanics resulting in shin pain. Ultimately the muscles get tired from compensating for the repetitive stress put on them when jogging or running and we start to change the way we move/ step which ends up causing us shin pain.

While it is important to rehab an injury after the fact, Capilano’s modern approach is to ‘prehab’ any potential injuries and squash the problem before it squashes you.

Here are some exercise tips:

  1. In order to avoid muscle fatigue and altered running mechanics we must strengthen our calves while increasing the flexibility of our main calf muscles. To see a few stretches and exercises that do that click here.
  2. These exercises should be done properly and consistently in order to maximize the benefits and make a positive change. Keep in mind the body is extremely interconnected and muscles are dependent on one another. Although shin splint pain is associated with imbalances in our calf muscles, tightness in the glutes and hamstrings can also alter our running mechanics and create a similar painful outcome. So when stretching or strengthening focus on multiple muscle groups to maximize results and keep the body moving smoothly.

Happy jogging everyone.

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Capilano Rehab Centre | Physical Therapy Capilano physical therapists have provided state-of-the-art physical therapy, sports physiotherapy, back pain, WCB, accident, whiplash and injury rehab to clients in Edmonton for over 10 years.

5832 Terrace Rd Edmonton, AB. T6A 3Y8

(780) 466-1104

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Category: Active Living, Healthy Living, Sports Rehab

About the Author ()

I am Capilano Rehab Centre’s Community Care Coordinator. I have been with Capilano Rehab for 9 years primarily as a Physio Assistant, but also as a Receptionist. I have a Physical Education Degree from the University of Alberta, which I will eventually use when my two young children are grown up. In the mean time I am enjoying helping people in the Community through my role as Community Care Coordinator and bringing awareness to how a Physiotherapist can help you get back to the activities you love the most!

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