To know how to prevent shin splints, it helps to know what some of the common causes are. Irritated or swollen muscles, such as may be caused from overuse, can cause the aching and throbbing in the lower legs. Stress fractures,or tiny breaks in the bones, may also be a culprit. However, shin splints not need be the result of trauma. Overpronation, more commonly known as flat-footedness, is a condition that causes the arch in the foot to collapse from the mere impact of taking a step. Over time, this condition that forces the foot out of it’s natural position, can cause pain in the shins.
Regardless of the cause, proper footwear is crucial to preventing shin splints. Shoes with good padding and adequate support help cushion the impact of your steps, leading to fewer muscle aches and less likelihood of stress fractures. A shoe with good arch support will prevent an over-pronated foot from losing its arch with every step. With the foot not being forced into an unnatural position, pain is far less likely to travel up the legs.
It is also important to take care of your body while exercising. Warm up before beginning a workout. Stretching the muscles, then gently breaking them in, prepares the legs for more strenuous activity, making them less susceptible to injury and strain. Avoid running or playing on hard surfaces, like cement, which are more likely to cause a higher impact. Listen to what your body tells you. If you begin to experience pain, it is your body’s way of telling you to stop. Take a break if your lower legs start to hurt.