How can I tell whether I have shin splints or not? And what can I do to prevent them?
Shin splints are best described as an intermittent dull ache or throbbing along the inner part of your shin, which can become a continuous pain during exercises. If they’re particularly bad, you’ll feel the pain in the shin even after you’ve finished running.
Shin splints generally present themselves as a pain across a larger area of your shin. If you are experiencing sharp pain in one particular area of your shin, this could be something more serious and you should consult a medical professional.
As shin splints are generally an overuse injury, the first step should always be to reduce both the volume and intensity of your training. You can supplement this training reduction with low impact cross training activities such as swimming or cycling to maintain your cardiovascular fitness.
It's better to take a couple of weeks off from training (even in the lead up to an event) than to risk worsening the injury and putting yourself out of action completely. In the meantime you can reduce inflammation by icing the affected area, and it's always a good idea to try some light stretches and foam rolling if you haven't already.
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