According to Google, each year when spring rolls around, the number of people searching online for information about shin splints peaks. New Orleans orthopedic surgeon Dr. Richard Meyer finds that this yearly pattern is also noticeable in the increased number of people coming to his office complaining of pain in the lower legs – or shin splints – during the first weeks of spring.
What are shin splints, and why do they peak in spring?
Shin splints are one of the most common exercise injuries, and are typically observed by your New Orleans orthopedic surgeon in runners. But patients sometimes use the term as a general phrase to refer to a variety of painful conditions that affect the front of their legs.
Doctors say the cases of shin splints typically rise in spring due to a sudden increase in activity after a dormant winter. When the weather starts to get nice, people get excited and start running again, but when they do too much too rapidly, it causes a lot of stress and the bone responds by becoming inflamed and sore.
Any sudden change can create a problem, and whether it’s a modification in the setting or concentration of exercise, people have to gradually allow their bodies to adapt. So if you’re used to running a mile, your New Orleans surgeon suggests cutting that in half and increase slowly.
How to prevent shin splints
To prevent getting shin splints, the doctors’ advice is to start or increase exercise routines slowly and progressively, by no more than ten percent in a week.
Stretching and warming up before running are important steps to prevent shin splints. People should also check their shoes to make sure that they still provide the support needed by your body.
Flexibility exercises that help loosen the leg muscles can also help, but strengthening all muscles, including the core and hip muscles, is also important.
If you are gearing up to increase your exercise routine and have any questions pertaining to what is safe, call the office of New Orleans orthopedic surgeon Dr. Richard Meyer today to schedule an appointment.