Pretty bold claim, right?
If you've ever had medial tibial stress syndrome (MTSS) aka shin splints, then you know that stuff is no joke.
And even if you haven't developed MTSS before, you keep knocking on wood and staying up-to-date on all the things that can help prevent it.
You're in the right place.
You already know, prevention is the best way to treat shin splints.
Because when the periosteum of your tibia bone becomes inflamed and painful with either sharp, stabbing or dull, achey symptoms because of muscle imbalances resulting in altered biomechanics which lead to abnormal tibial load …you're not a happy runner.
So let's cover 3 different ways to prevent these bad boys from ever showing up in this week's blog post.
I promise, it's actually easier than you think.
We've already touched on the pathophysiology of MTSS above.
But it's time to be SUPER honest….
We (the science community, medical care providers, sports scientists, etc) legit DON'T KNOW how or why MTSS happens.
There has been new research that's come out in the past 2 to 4 years suggesting that shin splints have more to do with over-active soleus muscles and quickly fatiguing intrinsic feet muscles resulting in altered mechanics to begin with that become exacerbated with fatigue from exercise.
But this is still all speculation.
(Want to dive into that deeper? Check out this post and this one.)
The reason I'm bringing all that up:
I've seen a lot of this in the clinic, treating runners like you with shin splints.
I've also learned a couple other things along the way that have been major milestones in their own recovery and return to running.
I didn't want to keep that all to myself.
I want to share these important tools with you that I've found through clinical experience, influenced by recent scientific research.
Sound good? Time to Dare to Train Differently!
Tool #1: Do all your upper body work on your knees or seated.
I know, this sounds super random, totally wacky, and makes absolutely no sense at first.
Let me explain….
Something I've found in the clinic when working with runners who have MTSS is they tend to OVERUSE their feet.
Hear me out…
Think of your body as teammates working on a group project called Life.
When one teammate doesn't do their work, someone else has to pick up the slack, right?
So the work gets redistributed amongst the rest of the teammates, but eventually, someone starts to get salty and shirks their work. Now the workload has to be re-shuffled again…
You get the picture.
Eventually someone is left doing all the work, chugging too many red bulls, and they start to have a mental break down…