Shin splints are a common complaint amongst runners and athletes involved in sports that require running. There are simple and effective techniques for the prevention of shin splints as well as treatment once they are present.

Technically, shin splints are an irritation of the muscles of the lower leg that run along the front and/or back of the shin bone  tibia). Mostly due from overuse, they can also result from poor training techniques, improper footwear, inadequate warm-up and cool down procedures and even a change in training surfaces.

More serious conditions that present the same as shin splints are stress fractures of the tibia and compartment syndrome of the lower leg. These must be treated very differently. The bottom line is have any recurring lower leg pain checked by a sports healthcare provider to ensure the appropriate diagnosis.  To assume shin pain with activity is simply shin splints and to “just train through the pain” is not the right choice. Get the condition assed and properly diagnosed.

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The goal is prevention of shin splints because they can become chronic and keep an athlete out of play for an extended period of time. Also known as medial or posterior tibial stress syndrome, shin splints do respond well to specific exercises to both lengthen and strengthen the muscles in the lower leg.

Corrective exercises in the prevention and treatment of shin splintsare designed to create  “stiffness” in the leg that reduces the ground reaction forces when running and also promotes better energy transfer from the leg back into the ground to propel the athlete forward. Essentially, an increase in leg stiffness prevents the overuse strain on the muscles which keeps them healthy and strong.

Athletes interested in learning how to prevent shin splints are invited to attend a free Shin Splint Clinic that will review the exercises to both lengthen and strengthen the lower leg muscles. Proper warm-up and cool down will be reviewed, too, as this is also an integral component in keeping the leg muscles healthy and happy.

The Shin Splint Clinic will be held on August 29 and August 31 from 11AM to 12 Noon at DeFabio Spine and Sports Rehab in Berkeley Heights. The clinic is free , however athletes under 18 years old will need a release signed by a parent of guardian. For additional information contact DeFabio Spine and Sports Rehab at 908.771.0220

Dr. Donald DeFabio is a dual board certified Chiropractic Physician in Berkeley Heights, NJ and  the Director of DeFabio Spine and Sports Rehab, LLC where Acupuncture, Chiropractic, Functional Medicine, Nutrition, and Physical Rehabilitation are integrated for a comprehensive approach to your health management. The office may be reached at DeFabioChiropractic@gmail.com  or  www.DeFabioChiropractic.com.  #TheDeFabioDifference