What causes shin splints in runners?

EndurElite Chief Endurance Officer Matt Mosman discusses what causes shin splints and 3 things runners, OCR, and other endurance athletes can do to prevent them.

Video Transcription:

How Runners, OCR, And Other Endurance Athletes Can Avoid Shin Splints

Good morning family of fast, Matt Mosman, the Chief Endurance Officer over at EndurElite coming at you today with Friday's endurance fast fact. Now, what's one of the most common running injuries? I'm gonna give you three seconds to think about it, 1-1,000, 2-1,000, 3-1,000, the answer is shin splints. Now, we all know what they are and we all hate them, but what can we do about them?

What Are Shin Splints?

So physiologist and trainers refer to shin splints as medial tibial stress syndrome, but they offer very little insight on the best way to treat shin splints from a research perspective.

What's The Best Way To Treat Shin Splints?

The most promising methods so far is to use shock absorbing insoles to treat shin splints, but the data here is really far from being conclusive. And I really don't buy into that theory altogether.

What's The Best Way To Prevent Shin Splints?

So instead, another body of research shows that the best way to avoid shin splints is through correcting running form and then through strengthening of certain key muscles and then through mobility, and here is why. The research has found that heel strikers and people who have a greater range of motion in the hips and in the ankles have a higher incidence of getting shin splints.

So here's what you're gonna do to avoid shin splints. You want to switch to more of a mid-foot foot strike instead of striking on your heel when you're running. You're also gonna want to strengthen your anterior tibialis muscle which is right here. Now, you can do this through toe raises, reverse calf raises, and there's a whole other host of exercises out there that can strengthen the anterior tibialis.

You are also gonna want to strengthen your hip adductors. Adductors basically make your hips and legs go in like that and you've all seen those really wonky machines at the gym with your legs spread wide open and you bring them together. You can also do this with the medicine ball, and again, there's more exercises to strengthen the hip adductors.

The Bottom Line On Avoiding Shin Splints

So just to repeat myself, the best way to avoid shin splint is being a mid-foot striker and then strengthening the anterior tibialis and your hip adductors. 

All right, family of fast, that is all I have for today. I hope you all have an awesome weekend. And until next time, stay fueled, stay focused, stay fast, and stay informed.

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