Shin Splints

Some of the athletes at PTC Sydney experience shins splints at one point or another especially if their training involves sprinting

How you know if you have shin splints?
It is a pain you feel around your shins and a jarring feel around your knees.

What causes shin splints?

1. Limited ankle mobility.

It’s not too uncommon for me to see new clients in the gym with bad ankle mobility.  To determine if you have ankle mobility issues simply do a squat with proper form and go below parallel while maintaining the arch in your lumbar spine.
Now if you find yourself falling forward even before getting to parallel and you start coming forward onto your toes and off the heels, then you have ankle mobility issues.

2. Bad footwear

A fair share of the members at the gym wear shoes with elevated heels due to the work they do ranging from electricians in steel capped work boots to corporate business managers.
This causes you to limit the range of motion of your dorsiflexors and tighten your plantar flexors . (Check Wikipedia to see what these are).
Flat footed clients usually have a special insert when the play on the field. It isn't cheap but it's worth the investment if shin splints are causing you grief.

3. Rotated feet – Externally

Ankle mobility issues will make your feet turn outward which affects your knees and legs in everyday life.

How to treat shin splints

I have most of my guys stop doing any form of sprinting for a week if they have severe shin splints.

I have most of the athletes doing the below
1. Ankle mobility exercises.
Attached are some great ones

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RPa9-fpqnUE&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uiNtT-sDeLg&feature=player_embedded

2.  Wear Flat Shoes
Converse/Chuck Taylor's are some that come to mind. Leave the heels at home if you’re out on a weekend.

3. Barefoot/socks in the gym.
I have most of my guys train barefoot or just in socks at the gym as they are generally great for deadlifts and warm-ups.

4. Foam roll
Ah yes the magnificent foam roller. Roll over your feet and calves and spend more time on them than usual.


Hope this helps.

Cheers
Trent
PTC Sydney