Shins hurt? How To Fix Shin Splints

Many people suffer from shins that hurt when they exercise.  This can be particularly true when trying a new workout routine, especially one that involves walking or running but also includes other sports.  The most likely cause is what is known as shin splints.

What are shin splints?

Shin splints describe a situation where the front part of the lower leg hurts during exercise.  It is commonly caused by a recent change in exercise that your shins are not used to and unprepared for.  The new kinds of stress that is being put on them can cause them to wear out too quickly in the workout, putting excess pressure on your bones.

What else can make shins hurt?

Shins can hurt during exercise if a person has little flexibility in his legs.  Most often this would be noticed when changing a workout routine to something with different demands on the shins.   If a person’s stride is too long for the legs to support the movements properly it can cause pain in the shin.  A runner or athlete whose shoes are not properly supporting the body can cause added stress to the legs and make shins hurt.  Working out after being inactive for a while can also lead to sore shins.

How can shin splints be fixed?

The most effective way is to simply rest, but to make sure your shins can handle your workout if you plan to continue with it, building up the muscles in the leg is important.  To build the muscle in your legs work lower leg and calf exercises, like toe raises, into your routine.  Increase flexibility in the legs by stretching the legs properly after you warm up and after you complete your workout.  Think about how you are exercising and make sure you are not taking very long strides when walking, for example, which can cause shin splints, or just change up your routine to see if the problem is relieved.  If your shoes are worn out, it may be time to replace your running shoes.

Lessons Learned:

  • if the front part of your lower legs hurt it may be shin splints
  • shins can hurt when your stride is too long, your shoes are worn out, you’re inflexible, or you just started a new form of exercise
  • fix shin splints with rest, a change of pace, or by increasing flexibility and strength in the legs

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