Shin Splints

Posted in: Leg & Foot Pain | 0

The curse of all runners, shin splints can ruin a perfectly good run.  Shin splints describe a pain in the front of the shin that you might feel while running or playing sports. Shin splints are often caused by a muscle imbalance where the posterior calf muscles are very strong and short causing the front tibialis anterior muscle to be become overburdened and painful.   Basically, the back muscles of the shin or tibia are strong and are overpowering the front muscles of the shin.

If you are prone to shin splints, there are a few simple exercises that can help you by strengthening the tibialis anterior muscle so that it becomes strong enough to withstand the constant force of the posterior calf muscles. The other half of the equation involves stretching out the calf muscles so they don’t pull on the tibialis anterior muscle as much.

The first exercise to strengthen tibialis anterior is very simple and can be done while you are sitting at work. It involves sitting on a chair and tapping your toes. You will never find a simpler exercise to do, but don’t let it fool you. You will feel the burn very quickly.



Here is another easy one to strengthen tibialis anterior:


Remember that strengthening the front is not enough.  If you really want to improve you need to also stretch the back.    This next video shows two stretches for the calf muscles.  The first exercise stretches the gastrocnemius muscle and the second stretches the soleus muscle.