Yoga Poses and Shin Splints

Are you an avid runner but suffer from shin splints? Unfortunately, shin splints are a common occurrence in runners as well as those who participate in activities requiring sudden stops and starts.   Shin splints are caused by an overload of stress on the shinbone and connective tissues and muscles that are attached.  Symptoms include tenderness, pain, and swelling in the lower leg.   

So how can you prevent the occurrence of shin splints from ruining your running regimen? Yoga poses may be the answer to keep your muscles stretched properly. Incorporate these three poses into your stretching routine:

  1. Legs up the wall: Sit about six inches away from a wall with your left side facing it. Swing your legs onto the wall and keep your head and shoulders flat on the floor. Spend ten minutes in this position to help your lower leg muscles relax.
  2. Hero pose: Kneel on the floor so your feet are flat and your toes are pointing out behind you. Sit back on your heels to stretch your tibia muscles as well as the tops of your feet. Hold the pose for up to a minute.
  3. Tree pose: This single-legged balance pose can help avoid future shin splints and also build strength in your lower legs. Start with both feet on the floor about shoulder width apart. Shift your weight to your left foot, lifting your right leg. Then turn your right leg and place it against your left leg anywhere comfortable except against the knee. To help you balance, lift your arms upward. Keep this pose for about a minute and then try the opposite leg.

Even with ample preparation, shin splints and other aches and pains are inevitable with running. If rest, stretching, or a slower running exercises don’t help your shin splints, call the office to set up an appointment with Dr. Danciger.  He can evaluate your problem area and come up with a treatment plan.     Are there other yoga poses that you perform before running or other physical activity? Please comment below, we would love to hear your thoughts! 

Dr. Harvey Danciger
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Dr. Harvey Danciger is a podiatrist and foot surgeon in Palm Desert, CA specializing in the foot and ankle
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