Here's What a Doctor Has to Say About Preventing Shin Splints
Whether you're a trail runner, an ultramarathoner, or just starting out on your first few runs in your neighborhood, shin splints are one of those universal woes that many of us have experienced. I remember just days before my third half-marathon, I was going for an easy but hilly run in my hometown to warm up, and merely two miles in, I was cut down by the debilitating pain in my left shin. Defeated and frustrated, I had to grab an Uber to go an embarrassingly short distance back home; I couldn't even walk!
Sometimes, shin splints are so bad, they call for physical therapy. We picked the brain of Dr. Thomas Olsen, a sports chiropractic physician who leads the professional athlete division at Orthology. He told us that medial tibial stress syndrome (MTSS) — known as "shin splints" — affects up to 35 percent of athletes, but it's more common in females.
When he's treating patients, he uses specific stretches and exercises to create flexibility, stability, and strength. You can try these PT exercises at home to prevent shin splints, but if you're suffering from an intense, seemingly incurable pain, Dr. Olsen urges you to find an experienced chiropractor or physical therapist, particularly one who specializes in athletes.