Shut Down Those Shin Splints!
Do you want to learn a new hobby? Dr. Denise Park, a neuroscientist at the University of Texas at Dallas recently stated that, “Pushing yourself to learn a new skill is likely critical when it comes to maintaining brain function as we age.” She suggests getting out of your comfort zone and finding something that will challenge you, provide fresh scenery in your life, and give you a different focus.
For some this may inspire a change or boost in exercise, which is great, but we want to encourage you to do so safely. Shin splints are a common injury when people try something new and do too much too quickly. Often classified as an overuse injury, shin splints cause pain and tenderness in the muscles along the shinbone, which is called the tibia. Running in particular can cause this injury, especially if you are adding hills and changes in terrain to your routine that your body is not accustomed to.
There are a few easy ways to avoid shin splints. The first tip is to make sure you are always wearing the right kind of shoes for the activity you are doing. From football to tennis to cycling to walking around the neighborhood, wearing shoes with good support that fit your feet properly is crucial! Secondly, take things slowly if you are learning something new. Your activity of choice may involve demands and stresses that your feet and body are not ready for, and a gentle introduction is the key to avoiding injury. Warm up, cool down and stretch; and lastly, take action immediately if you have any pain starting. You may need to switch shoes or there may be an underlying problem the new activity brought to light that you were unaware of. Any significant change can cause inflammation around the shinbone and the pain is your body’s way of telling you something may be wrong.
If you are unsure why you have pain in your shins, or it seems to be a recurring problem, please contact Dallas Podiatry Works for help. Make an appointment with Drs. Joel W. Brook and David R. Northcutt in Dallas, TX by calling (972) 566-7474 or in Plano, TX at (972) 943-3323.
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