We’re the Toronto chiropodist and Toronto Podiatrist that wants you to be well-informed as you head into the warm weather. For many people in the GTA, running outside is a big part of summer. If part of that activity results in a nagging pain in your legs, you might be suffering from shin splints.
Here’s a few things you can do about them.
Get New Shoes
In your excitement to get outside and exercise, you might be wearing the wrong shoes. Our foot clinic in downtown Toronto has seen lots of runners who’ve been wearing old sneakers for too long. Hanging onto those old shoes when they are past their prime is a big reason for shin splints.
Don’t forget to look for some wiggle room when you’re buying a new pair. That means about the width of your thumb between your big toe and the front of the running shoe.
Pain and swelling can be reduced with an ice pack. If you’ve already got a shin splint, apply one of these for 30 minutes every three hours for several days. Stop when the injured leg is every bit as flexible as the other one.
If you could push on the spots that used to hurt, that means the ice packs are working.
Take Smaller Strides
As your Toronto chiropodist, we know how motivated you are to start running in the summer. It’s easy to take a long stride with the sun shining down on you and the birds singing in the trees. However, that’s not always the best bet for your lower legs.
There is research that says longer strides put more pressure on your shin bones. Short quick steps are the better bet. Remember to let your feet touch down quickly and briefly between each one. In fact the best is to aim for 180 strides each minute. You want to feel smooth and limit the amount of bobbing up and down. One way to do this is to imagine your head staying level as you run.
Stretch Before You Run
Stretching before you run helps you to avoid injuries like shin splints. Sit down and extend your left leg out to the side. Lean forward and bend your back and waist towards your left foot. This is a good stretch for your hamstrings. Try and hold it for 30 seconds at a time.
To stretch your calf muscles, stand with one leg behind the other. Bend one leg forward while keeping the other one straight. Press the heel to the floor.
Finally, if you injure yourself running, play it safe and come in and see your Toronto chiropodist or Toronto Podiatrist.