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Get Rid of Shin Splints Pain | 11 Best Stretches to Try

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Get Rid of Shin Splints Pain | 11 Best Stretches to Try

Get Rid of Shin Splints Pain 11 Best Stretches to Try (1)

Do you ever feel a twinge of pain along your shin bone, that won’t go away?

It’s a classic sign of shin splints. A little warning from your body that something’s not quite right.

That’s what shin splints are all about. They sneak up on you when you’re pushing your limits. Whether you’re hitting the track or treadmill for a run or trying out a new workout routine.

But, how do you get rid of shin splints?

There’s a simple solution against this irritating pain: STRETCHING. Trojans Fitness is here to help you ease the pain with some easy stretching exercises for shin splints.

The stretches for shin splints loosen tight muscles and relieve discomfort. So, if you’re tired of the nagging shin pain, stick around. We’ll show you how to stretch your way to sweet relief.

Let’s know more about shin splints, learn why they happen, and discover how stretching the shins can save you from discomfort.

What are Shin Splints?

Shin splints are when the front of your lower leg hurts. It happens because the muscles and tissues around your shin bone get swollen. Medically speaking, they’re also called tibial stress syndrome.

When shin splints happen, it’s usually because the muscles and tissues around your shin bone are being used too much or in the wrong way.

The pain usually runs along the inside of your shinbone. Which is the big bone in the front of your lower leg. This bone goes from your knee to your ankle. You get shin splints when your muscles and tissues around your shinbone are

  1. Not used right,
  2. Get used too much,
  3. Are not lined up correctly.

Shin splints are a common problem for people who exercise a lot. And are pretty common in athletes like runners and dancers, who are training really hard or just started a new routine.

When you start to exercise, the pain can get worse, but it might feel better as you warm up. Resting and putting ice on the sore part can help make it a little better. If you exercise just the right amount for your fitness level and wear good shoes, you can avoid getting shin splints.

If you gently stretch anterior tibialis, you can avoid getting shin splints again. Top of Form

Causes of Shins Splints | 2 Main Reasons

Shin splints happen when the muscles, tendons, and tissue around your shin bones get tired and worn out. Shin splints happen mainly for 2 reasons:

  • Either you push yourself too hard too quickly, like suddenly running longer or on tough surfaces.
  • Or your body moves in a way that makes your legs work harder than they should.

Cause #1: Doing Too Much Too Fast

  1. Starting to exercise after a long break
  2. Running too much uphill or downhill
  3. Exercising on hard or bumpy surfaces
  4. Wearing shoes that are old or don’t fit well
  5. Playing sports that involve lots of running or jumping
  6. Increasing how much or how hard you exercise suddenly

Cause #2: Body Mechanics Issues

  1. Not having good running form
  2. Having stiff muscles in your lower legs
  3. Running with your toes pointing outward
  4. Landing too hard on the front of your feet
  5. Leaning too much forward or backward when you run
  6. Having flat feet that make your ankles roll inward too much

Symptoms of Shins Splints

Shin splint pain typically manifests during and after exercise, especially in activities involving repetitive use of the lower legs. The pain may worsen upon touching the sore spot or applying pressure to the affected area.

  • Pain: The main sign of shin splints is pain along the edge of your shinbone. It can feel sharp or dull and happen during or after exercise.
  • Swelling: You might notice a bit of swelling in the area where it hurts.

You might also experience:

  • Tenderness: Your shin might feel sore to the touch.
  • Soreness: You may feel discomfort along the inside of your shinbone.

At first, the pain might go away when you stop exercising. But if you keep pushing, it could stick around and even get worse. And if things really get bad, it could lead to something more serious, like a stress fracture.

When to Get Medical Help

If rest, ice, and over-the-counter pain killer don’t make the pain go away. It is advisable to consult a healthcare professional. Persistent or worsening symptoms may indicate an underlying issue that requires further treatment to help you get back on your feet.

11 Shin Splints Exercises And Stretches

Let’s talk about some stretches for shin pain.

First off, remember to breathe slowly and intentionally through your nose and mouth. This helps your body get the oxygen it needs during stretches.

Before we get into the stretches, it’s a good idea to do some foam rolling on your lower body. This can help loosen up your muscles and get them ready for stretching.

Give these stretches a try and see if they help relieve your shin splint discomfort.

#1: Piriformis Stretch

Piriformis Stretch

Click Here for Video Tutorial: How To Do A Piriformis Stretch

Now, let’s try the Piriformis Stretch. This stretch targets a muscle called the piriformis, which helps rotate your hip joint. If this muscle is tight, it can put extra stress on the muscles involved in shin splints.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground.
  2. Cross your right ankle over your left knee, forming a “figure four” shape with your legs.
  3. Hold the back of your left thigh with both hands, with one hand behind your knee and the other around the outside of your bent leg.
  4. Gently pull your left leg towards your chest, while keeping your right knee from moving inward.
  5. Hold the stretch for 20 to 30 seconds, then switch sides and repeat.

#2: Hip Hikes

Hip Hikes

Click Here for Video Tutorial: Hip Hikes // Move Your Hips Up & Down!

Hip hikes are a great way to strengthen your glutes and prevent shin splints. By standing on an elevated surface and lifting your hips towards your rib cage, you target key muscles in your hips and buttocks. This exercise helps correct imbalances and improves stability, reducing the risk of shin splint pain.

Give these shin splint stretches a try and see how it feels.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Stand on a step or elevated surface.
  2. Let one leg hang off the edge, allowing it to drop toward the floor.
  3. Lift your hip toward the ceiling, as if you’re doing a side crunch where your hip bone moves toward your rib cage.
  4. Repeat this movement 20 times on each side.

#3: Single-Leg Soleus Bridge

Single Leg Soleus Bridge

Click Here for Video Tutorial: Single Leg Soleus Bridges

Let’s talk about the single-leg soleus bridge. An excellent exercise recommended by physiotherapists to strengthen not just the soleus muscle but also the hamstrings and glutes. These muscles are often weak in people dealing with shin splints.

Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Start by lying on your back with the balls of your feet resting on a step or a raised platform.
  2. Lift one leg straight up towards the sky, keeping it as straight as possible.
  3. Raise your hips off the ground, forming a straight line with your torso.
  4. Press down through the foot that’s still on the step, straightening your ankles.
  5. Slowly lower your hips and heels back down towards the ground.
  6. Repeat this movement 20 times on each side to strengthen both legs equally.

Give the single-leg soleus bridge a try to strengthen those important muscles and help ease your shin splint discomfort.

#4: Foot Strengthening on Balance Beam

Foot Strengthening on Balance Beam

Click Here for Video Tutorial: The Secret Tool for Building Foot Strength

Foot strengthening on a balance beam is a fun and helpful exercise for shin splints.

Foot strengthening means making the muscles inside your feet stronger. These muscles are important for supporting your foot arches and keeping you balanced.

Why is foot activation important for shin splints?

Weak foot muscles lead to poor foot alignment, putting extra strain on your shins and causing pain. Strengthening these muscles can help your feet support your body better and reduce shin splint risk.

Here’s how to do foot strengthening on a balance beam:

  1. Find a balance beam, sturdy yoga blocks, or a plank to stand on. Make sure it’s stable.
  2. Stand with one foot in front of the other, like you’re walking on a tightrope.
  3. Try to balance for about 30 seconds. You’ll feel your foot muscles working.
  4. Switch feet and repeat for balance.

With regular practice, foot strengthening on a balance beam can make your foot muscles stronger and lessen shin splint discomfort.

Give it a try and enjoy the challenge.

#5: Runner’s Stretch

Runner's Stretch

Click Here for Video Tutorial: Runner’s Stretch

Runner’s stretch is an excellent exercise for preventing tightness that leads to shin splints.

When we talk about tightness, we’re referring to stiffness or inflexibility in the muscles, particularly in the back of your legs. This tightness can put extra strain on your muscles and tendons, increasing the likelihood of developing shin splints.

To do the runner’s stretch, follow these steps:

  1. Start by standing with your right foot behind your left, keeping your right knee straight and your left knee slightly bent.
  2. Keep your back right heel on the ground as you bend your left knee forward.
  3. You should feel a gentle stretch in the back of your right leg.
  4. Hold this stretch for up to 2 minutes.
  5. Repeat the same steps on the other side, switching your legs.

By practising the runner’s stretch regularly, you can improve flexibility and reduce the risk of tightness that can contribute to shin splints.

Give it a try and see how it helps you.

#6: Soleus Stretch

Soleus Stretch

Click Here for Video Tutorial: Soleus Stretch

Soleus stretch is a simple yet helpful exercise to reduce tightness in your calf muscles.

When we talk about calf muscle tightness, we’re particularly referring to stiffness in the calf area. This tightness can contribute to shin splints by putting extra strain on the muscles and tendons in the lower leg.

Here’s how to do the soleus stretch:

  1. Start by standing with your right foot behind your left, and bend both knees slightly, keeping both heels on the ground. This position targets the calf muscles.
  2. As you bend your knees, focus on feeling a deep stretch in the back of your lower leg, just below the knee. This is where the soleus muscle is located.
  3. Hold the stretch for a gentle to moderate stretch for up to 2 minutes. It’s important to hold the stretch for enough time to allow the muscles to relax and lengthen.
  4. After holding the stretch, switch sides and repeat the same steps with your left foot behind your right.

By incorporating the soleus stretch into your routine, you can effectively relieve tightness in your calf muscles and reduce the risk of developing shin splints.

Give it a try and see how it helps improve your flexibility and comfort.

#7: Penguin Walks

penguin walks exercise

Click Here for Video Tutorial: Penguin Walk

Discover a fun and effective way to strengthen your lower leg muscles with penguin walks. This simple exercise targets the front part of your lower leg, promoting strength and stability.

By lifting your toes and walking on your heels, you engage these muscles, which are important for preventing and treating shin splints.

Here’s how to do penguin walks:

  1. Lift your toes and walk around, keeping as much of the front of your foot off the ground as possible. This action targets the muscles in the front of your lower leg.
  2. Try walking on your heels for up to 2 minutes at a time. This movement further engages the muscles in the front of your leg.

Include penguin walks into your routine to strengthen your lower leg muscles and reduce the risk of developing shin splints.

Give it a try and enjoy the benefits of improved strength and stability.

#8: Foot Scoops

Foot Scoops

Click Here for Video Tutorial: Foot Scoops

Foot scoops are a beneficial exercise for strengthening the muscles that support your arch and help prevent shin splints.

This exercise is essential for building the key muscles in your feet and making your arches more stable. Include foot scoops in your routine to avoid shin splints and boost your overall foot strength.

Begin by practising foot scoops while seated. And as you become more comfortable, you can progress to doing them while standing.

Here’s how to do foot scoops:

  1. Start by sitting down and ensuring that both your toes and heels are touching the ground.
  2. Lift the arches of your feet as high as you can, holding this position for about three seconds. Imagine making an ice cream scoop shape with your foot’s arch.
  3. Repeat this movement 20 times, aiming to gradually increase the strength of your foot muscles.

Give foot scoops a try and make your feet stronger.

#9: Piano Toes

Piano Toes

Click Here for Video Tutorial: Piano Toes

Piano toes is an exercise to strengthen your arches and toe muscles.

By lifting each toe off the floor one by one, you improve toe dexterity and muscle strength. This exercise helps fix weak arches and enhances overall foot health, making walking and standing more comfortable.

Here’s how to do piano toes:

  1. Sit down and try lifting one toe at a time off the floor, then place it back down.
  2. Use your hands to assist if needed, starting with either the big toe or the small toe.
  3. Remember, it’s okay if lifting the smaller toes feels difficult at first – this is normal.
  4. Repeat this movement five times to practice and improve over time.

By practising piano toes regularly, you’ll increase the strength and coordination of the muscles in your feet, leading to stronger arches and improved foot health.Top of Form

#10: Toe Towel Scrunches

Toe Towel Scrunches

Click Here for Video Tutorial: Toe Towel Crunch – Ask Doctor Jo

Toe towel scrunches are a simple exercise to make your foot muscles stronger.

Doing this helps your feet hold up better for running, ballet, or other activities that strain the muscles in your lower legs. Preventing injuries and improving stability and performance.

Here’s how to do the towel scrunches:

  1. Lay a hand towel flat on the floor.
  2. With one foot at a time, use your toes to scrunch the towel up.
  3. Try to grip the towel under your foot.
  4. Then, spread the towel out again using your toes.
  5. Repeat this process five times with each foot.

By doing toe towel scrunches regularly, you’ll build stronger foot muscles, which can help prevent overuse injuries and improve your performance in various activities.

#11: Toe Marble Pickups

Toe Marble Pickups

Click Here for Video Tutorial: Toe Marble Pick Up

Toe marble pickups are an advanced exercise that builds on toe towel scrunches and piano toe movements to strengthen your feet and arches.

Here’s how to do toe marble pickups:

  1. Place small objects like marbles, pennies, or rocks on the floor in front of you.
  2. Using only your toes, pick up one object at a time and transfer it to a small container.
  3. Repeat this process with each foot, picking up and transferring the objects three times.

By practising toe marble pickups regularly, you’ll enhance the strength and coordination of your foot muscles, which can help improve balance, stability, and overall foot health.

Prevent Shin Splints | 6 Bonus Tips

  1. Proper form and mechanics are key.
  2. To avoid shin splints, increase activity slowly.
  3. Consider strength, flexibility, and control shin splints exercises.
  4. Use shock-absorbing insoles and wear suitable footwear.
  5. Swap high-impact activities for low-impact ones like swimming or yoga.
  6. Correct any physical issues and avoid repetitive stress. A physical therapist can help. Increasing the step rate can also reduce strain on your shins.

If shin splints persist, see a physical therapist for personalized advice, shin pain exercise and possibly specialized shoes.

How to Treat Shin Splints | 3-Step Recovery Plan

Treating shin splints involves three phases:

  1. Reduce pain and inflammation,
  2. Restore mobility,
  3. Strengthen muscles and joints.

Here’s what you need to know for each step.

Phase 1: Ease Pain & Swelling

If some activity hurts, stop doing it. But keep your body moving. For example, if running causes pain, try swimming instead. Using ice, massaging the sore area, and stretching can all help during this stage.

Phase 2: Regain Flexibility

Use a foam roller to soothe tight muscles. Find the spots that feel tender and press on them for about 30 seconds. You can also roll back and forth gently to ease the tightness.

Phase 3: Build Strength

Make your calf, hip, and foot muscles stronger to keep them flexible and prevent more pain in the future. Exercises like calf raises and hip bridges can help with this.

Get Relief with Trojan Fitness Stretching Gear

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Ready to ease your shin splint pain and prevent future discomfort?

Trojan Fitness offers a range of stretching gear, including foam rollers, yoga blocks, and more. With our products, you can effectively address tight muscles, regain flexibility, and build strength to prevent painful shin splints.

Shop now to enjoy pain-free workouts!