How to Banish Shin Splints & Reduce Knee Pain

As I was browsing through the books on my wish list on Amazon, it was surprising how much of what I read has to do with rehabilitation and injury prevention. But last night alone I was asked about how to stop the pain of shin splints twice!

Guess we’re all just trying to keep moving without being in pain.

But this is a hard thing to do as you get older. We all seem to be in some sort of pain or at least have tightness in particular areas which we have to work around.

So let’s look at shin splints first.

I’ve thrown a few videos in below. I don’t know for sure if they will work as I don’t have shin splints but from what I know about muscles and movement they’re on the right track and will surely make a difference.

The first one addresses the tightness issue.
The second addresses a weakness issue.

 

Click on the following link for the second video:
www.gizmodo.com.au/2012/04/banish-shin-splints-forever-with-one-magical-exercise

Knee pain is another problem that affects a ton of people.

Obviously there are so many knee issues that I can’t diagnose or work on directly because they are outside the scope of what I do. But, there is a lot you can do for your knees without focusing directly on your knees.

The best piece of advice I have heard for looking at why injuries are occurring is ‘look what is happening above or below the joint.’

So for the knee we always look what is happening with the muscles in the lower leg and upper leg. These muscles if very tight can produce pain or at least tightness in the knee if ignored.

how-to-banish-shin-splints-reduce-knee-pain-1For example, if you have knee pain and very tight calf muscles as well as the plantar fascia muscles on the bottom of your foot, then these muscles should be looked at and loosened up before you go any further (this is what you would have seen in the above video).

Of course you can and should visit the physiotherapist but they will often be looking at the same areas.

Maybe you have a knee that caves inwards when you run or lunge. In that case you are likely to have some tight and some weak muscles in your leg. In which case, work on loosening up the tight area and strengthening the weak area. Often the external rotator muscles in the gluteus maximus need some strengthening.

The best tool for reducing tightness that I recommend to everyone with knee issues is the foam roller. If you ever get on the roller and find that it hurts, you need to use it more.

When I first used a foam roller I was barely able to run or jump. But with daily work on the foam roller and some rehabilitation programming and strength work I had my muscles get looser and I was able to start moving again.

Much of the time we just use limited time as an excuse to not do what we should be doing. Then we get an injury and we can’t train any more. That’s when we are super motivated to do rehab work so we can get back to the sports and activities we enjoy!

You can’t reach your goals while you are injured!

how-to-banish-shin-splints-reduce-knee-pain-IT-BandAnd if you address the minor issue before it becomes a major issue, you will likely avoid having to miss out on your favourite activities in the first place.

So if you don’t have one, get a foam roller and use it!

Keep it in the lounge room and use it in front of the TV. But it won’t work unless you use it.

If you need one contact me and I’ll supply you with a roller and DVD to show you how to use it for forty bucks.

Recently I’ve noticed internal stress also causes tight muscles and pain. For many people our diet is inadequate of the required vitamins and minerals and we end up malnourished!

Even in this society where we have plenty we can become malnourished through inadequate nutrition!

So please make sure you are addressing your nutritional needs and put lean meats, good fats, vegetables and some fruit as a priority in your diet, by any means necessary. It plays a much bigger part in keeping your muscles working and your body functioning well than we all realize.

I know that I don’t know everything I need to know in this area, so next week I’m off to Sydney for a CHEK Holistic Lifestyle Coach certification to learn more.

If you want to get the most out of your car you need to service it before it blows up or falls apart. Your body is the same.

Service it regularly and give it what it needs and it will last a long time. Ignore it and you might be falling apart before you’re ready to hang up your running shoes.

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