Shin splints are one of the most common running injuries that affect marathon runners. They have been plaguing athletes for centuries, so how can you catch a break from them when you are training for your marathon this fall? Workout intensity and hill training are inevitable in the months leading up to the race, but they cannot be avoided in workouts.
A mistake that most runners make is running through the pain. This may cause pain to become more intense in the surrounding bone tissue and last longer than it normally should. The best option for marathon runners is rest, and research shows that use of shock-absorbing insoles are effective when implemented in training months.
What Causes Shin Splints?
The injury is concentrated around the front of the lower legs, between the knee and ankle, which most doctors refer to as medial tibial stress syndrome (MTSS). Mostly affecting people who engage in moderate to heavy physical activity. Sometimes the individual commits to strenuous activity during initial presence which aggravates the condition even further, forcing the individual to stop activity altogether. Shin splints are more likely to occur when leg muscles and tendons are fatigued.
Extreme and excessive force on the shin bone and tissues to muscles surrounding it can swell and cause inflammation. Other causes of shin splints include:
Muscle weakness in thighs and buttocks
Stress reactions to bone fractures
Lack of flexibility
Lack of rest
Ill-fitting running shoes
Activities that have multiple starts and stops in running
Running downhill, on slanted surfaces or terrain
How Can I Recover Before the Big Race?
Treatment for the injury first begins by visiting a medical professional to determine the cause of injury and proper recovery methods. Initially, runners should resort to elevating the legs, using ice packs to reduce swelling and anti-inflammatories medication, depending on the level of severity.
Most runners fail to replace their shoes, because they are unaware of when to do so. Marathon runners or amateurs should keep track of the distance their shoes rack up every year. Recommended distance for every runner to replace their shoes is 500 miles, or 800 kilometers. The point of running shoes is to provide support during motion control and when the shoes are no longer in its prime condition, it is time to replace them no matter what their mileage.
According to a study from the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, the most effective prevention of shin splints involves use of shock-absorbing insoles. Supportive insoles, when used properly align and stabilize the foot and ankle which promote proper running stride. Over the counter or custom-made orthotics are the healthiest investment for runners who suffer from shin splints.
Depending on the severity of pain, shin splints can be corrected before the big race. Every runner alike should rest and recover before engaging in intense activity that requires aggressive foot striking. A medical expert can diagnose symptoms and provide an aggressive approach to correct this type of running injury. Runners with shin splints require rest, proper fitting shoes and supportive insoles or orthotics to make a full recovery just before the marathon.