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Getting Rid of Shin Splints: A Guide for Teen Athletes

Stretching in parkShin splints are painful, limit your athlete’s ability to perform, and can even lead to major issues later in life!

Just last week, I had a teenager who boxes ask me how to get rid of her shin splints. They were making it hard for her to stay on her toes in the ring, and going for runs was nearly impossible. I had her take off her socks and was blown away by these huge bunions she had on both big toes!

This is why shin splints are a bigger deal than they seem; they can literally deform your foot, causing issues for decades to come.

Your foot needs to dorsiflex in order to walk, run, etc. If it can’t, like with this girl, you end up subtly turning your feet out to move forward. This puts abnormal stress and pressure on the inside of your toe and results in a bunion.

I’ve also seen people tear their Achilles tendons due to shin splints because of the excess strain put on the lower calf.

So what do you do?

Stretch the hamstrings and calves! Being too tight there makes the muscles on your shins have to work crazy hard to try and force dorsiflexion. As covered above, this is not only painful but can cause significant problems elsewhere.

I’m also a big fan of Kinesio Tape for these athletes. This is a service we provide at Hanson Family Chiropractic, although you can buy tape and apply it yourself at home. Just make sure you watch some videos to ensure you’re applying it correctly.

Lastly, consider having them evaluated by a chiropractor. Often, dysfunction in the extremities stems from an instability in the spine and/or hips themselves. Addressing these central areas of dysfunction can significantly contribute to shin splint relief and overall athletic performance.


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