How to avoid shin splints – Why you should NEVER run on pavements

Running has been one of the only options for people wanting to keep fit while gyms are closed. This form of exercise is really good for your cardiovascular system, burning calories and building up strength. chatted to Professor Paul Lee, sports and orthopaedic surgeon at MSK Doctors and Sean Flannery, Head Physiotherapist at Harlequins and MyoMaster to find out how to run safely and how to avoid shin splints while running.

If you’ve recently started running, you probably have no clue how to run safely.

If you’re a serious runner, you’re likely to be pounding the streets in all weathers – but you could be doing your health more harm than good.

Runners knees, Achilles tendinitis, ankle sprains and a whole host of injuries are common to runners, and let’s not forget about shin splints.

Shin Splints, also known as Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome, are a pain felt along the inner edge of your shin that’s usually present during and after training – and it’s very painful.

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According to the experts, there are a few ways to prevent shin splints. They are:

  • Have a running plan that increases mileage gradually
  • Spend time on your warm-up and recovery before and after every run focusing on your feet and calves
  • Work on strengthening your hip muscles
  • Avoid running on hard surfaces too frequently
  • Ensure you have correct footwear to support your feet and ankles. Alternate your trainers regularly to allow different loading on your joints.
  • Walk before you run, to warm up your muscles and tendons, which will help to minimise injury
  • Weight training is vital to make your muscles stronger and strengthen any imbalance between limbs
  • Make sure you factor in rest days, to allow your legs to recover

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