Article: Shin Splints Anyone?

Shin Splints Anyone? ... By Keith Dorsette

If you find yourself with aches and pains around the shin area, there is a strong possibility that you have a shin splint. Get a check up if such a pain continues after a day or two. This condition can be very uncomfortable and painful. They can even lead to stress fractures. When the peaks of pains are active, that is the tissue tearing, the continuation of this can lead to a stress fracture.

Shin splints are usually brought on by poor fitting footwear and or the ramping up of activity after long periods of dormancy. They are preventable and treatable.

As usual, your diet has a lot to contribute towards having a shin splint condition or not. Shin splints involve inflammation, so foods with anti-inflammatory properties such as kiwis, pineapple, papaya and ginger are solid options to include within your diet. Additionally, foods rich in omega 3 oils such as wild caught salmon, tuna or even omega 3 supplements will contribute towards prevention and treatment. Magnesium is often referred to as a relaxation mineral. Including magnesium rich foods in your diet such as spinach and pumpkin seeds can have positive results for prevention and treatment.

Topically (outside of the body), using a foam roller to massage the underside of the calf, left and right side of calf can help with relief. The roller can also be used to massage the shin itself with particular attention to the muscles on either side. Strengthening the muscles surrounding the shin (calf muscles) should be a priority. Try to incorporate balancing movements into your regime, such as standing on one leg … these types of practices involve the participation of deep muscles, which in turn will contribute towards prevention and treatment.

There is a highly effective treatment called “graston”. It is in your best interest to look this up. A few parts of this can be done in your home after you learn how to do it. It involves the lengthening and loosening the muscles in the shin area. It is quite similar to “graston” for a heel spur. As a general rule of thumb, being familiar with “graston” is a must have tool for anyone with an active lifestyle. It is a technique (procedure) that should be done before a condition exists!

You will additionally benefit from stretches that are generated with the rotation of the ankle with various levels of resistance. Doing a general search for shin splint stretches will be helpful.

–Keith Dorsette is the developer and senior trainer for the SAAF CAMP NCD Prevention and Health and Wellness Program. He is also the Health And Wellness correspondent for the SAAF CAMP TV Show. Visit Us At: