How to Combat Shin Splints

Thomas Spetter is a Regional Key Account Manager in the Market Access Division at Bristol-Myers Squibb, where he maintains responsibility for the BMS pharmaceutical product portfolio. In his free time, Thomas Spetter enjoys exercising and ocasionally runs in 5k races.

Despite the many physical benefits of running, runners should be aware of the potential to develop shin splints. Shin splints cause the burning pain in the lower legs that makes it unbearable to run. Often shin splints occur when runners increase their running intensity or frequency too quickly or when they run in old shoes or with poor form. One way to avoid getting shin splints it to follow the 10 percent rule, which is to never increase running time or mileage by more than 10 percent each week. Also, instead of running every day, runners should cross-train with high-intensity, low-impact activities, such as biking or swimming.

Runners should also pay attention to form: proper running form entails striking mid-foot and keeping a short stride. Finally, wearing a supportive shoe is crucial. Runners can visit a running store and talk to an experienced salesperson about what shoe is best for the surfaces on which they run.