Pre Season footy training can be gruelling on the body but shin pain is something that can grind your training to a halt.
Running makes up a huge part of pre season training and if you’re not prepared shin splints can be a common occurrence. Shin splints or shin pain is an overuse injury affecting the Tibia (Shin bone) and the muscles attaching to the shin. Sometimes it’s referred to as Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome. Most commonly the muscle becomes fatigued with an increase in running load and no is longer able to do its job efficiently. This puts excessive stress on the shin and connective tissue.
What can you do to help?
There are a few things you can do to help with shin pain. Initial treatment for an overuse injury should always include rest, ice, compression and elevation.
A common problem in pre season training is doing lots of running in Football boots instead of runners. Make sure you are doing your distance running in a pair of runners, not footy boots, and that your runners are not too old.
Most running shoes will generally last about 500-600 km but this will depend on the shoe.
If you run twice a week for 5 km your shoes will have done 500 km in 1 year. So how much running are you doing?
A compressed midsole means less cushioning and extra stress being put onto your body. If you think you’re in need of new runners check out our blog on running shoes.
Massage the muscle next to the shin prior to running.
- I prefer to use Deep heat or Metsal but an anti-inflammatory cream such as Arnica cream or voltaren can also be used. This can relieve the pain in the area temporarily so you can run pain free. Ideally you have rested the area, the pain has significantly reduced, and you are using this as part of a measured return to running.
The aim is to secure the foot and ankle. This puts less stress on the muscle attached to the shin while running. This will help with the increased load during a long run and the stress it exerts on the shin as the foot rolls in.
Check out your football boots.
If your transitioning from your runners to your football boots we still want your foot to be supported. Boots that flex in the middle allow the foot to pronate or roll in and put more stress on your shin. Shock absorption can also be important on firm grounds, the type you see after a dry summer. Check out our guide on football boots for AFL and Soccer. (Shanes update on footy boots link, Andrews for Soccer)
If you’re getting shin pain that’s persistent and not resolving with the tips above it’s time to come and see one of our podiatrists at Pro Feet Podiatry.
We will complete a full assessment on your running, pressure distribution analysis and be able to advise on treatment options available to alleviate the pain and get you back to football asap. We treat the symptoms and well as the underlying problem. You’ll be provided with a management plan, specific to you, to get you back playing as soon as possible.
We can offer:
Modification of training
Custom Foot orthotics
If you have any questions about shin splints or updating your runners please feel free to contact me, I would love to help.
Yours in keeping people active, healthy and happy,
Podiatrist Andrew Crutch consults at Pro Feet Podiatry’s Geelong and Drysdale clinic and loves helping people achieve their fitness goals. Andrew believes strongly in prevention being better than the cure and of the importance of identifying and addressing risk factors to prevent injuries.