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What can I do to prevent shin splints?

To reduce the likelihood that you will develop shin splints, make sure that your footwear is appropriate for your activity. You may benefit from shoe inserts particularly if you are an over-pronator (have flattened arches). Strengthen the instrisic foot muscles that support the arch by performoing towel scrunches or by picking up marbles with the toes. Incorporate flexibility (foam roll and statically stretch your calves and hips) into your daily routine to avoid muscle length imbalances. Next, strengthen the ankle dorsiflexors by pulling the toes back against a resistance band, and perform balance training (single-leg balance with reach). Lastly, avoid excessive downhill running if you have not properly trained for it. Incorporate a variety of activities into your training routine (swimming, biking, running) to avoid too much repetitive impact stress to the shin bone. Ramp up your training slowly, and back off at the first sign of shin pain--this is an indication that you increased your time or intensity too quickly.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.