The weather is getting warmer, the snow is melting, and we can start to see the sidewalk again!
Do you know what this means? Running season is just around the corner!
It is nearly time to dust off the running shoes and get ready to go outside for the year's first run. But, if you are like many runners worldwide, the first month of running can result in shin splints and pain along your Achilles tendon.
Here are two exercises you need to start doing NOW to be ready for running season to begin!
Prevent Shin Splints - Standing Toe Raises
Anterior Tibial Stress Syndrome, commonly known as good ol' shin splints, is pain along the front of your lower leg that commonly affects runners.
Shin splints can happen for various reasons, but there is one muscle that is commonly involved. This muscle is called the tibialis anterior. This is a large muscle that goes along the outside of your shin, wraps around your shin, and attaches to one of the bones inside your foot.
While you are running, this muscle helps your toes roll onto the ground. We need the tibialis anterior to do its job so that your foot doesn't slap against the ground, and it sounds like a duck is running on the path.
If the tibialis anterior cannot do its job well enough or is not strong enough, it can result in shin splints.
Here is an easy exercise that you can do to strengthen your tibialis anterior!
Prevent Achilles Tendon Pain – Seated Calf Raises
Tendons are pieces of connective tissue that attach muscles to bone. Our Achilles tendon is unique because it attaches two different muscles from our calf to our heel. Our calf houses two muscles, the soleus and the gastrocnemius, which combine into the Achilles tendon.
Although the muscles are very close together, they are unique. The gastrocnemius muscle is slightly smaller and does not only stay in the lower leg; it aches to the bone in our upper leg called the femur.
On the other hand, the soleus is slightly larger, and ONLY stays in the lower leg.
Research shows that weakness in the soleus muscle increases the risk of Achilles tendon injury or even rupture.
Understanding the differences in where these muscles attach ensures that we can train them differently.
To prevent Achilles tendon pain and injury, we must focus on training the soleus more than the gastrocnemius. The video below shows how to perform seated calf raises properly!
But I Already Have Shin Splints or Achilles Tendon Pain
If you already have shin splints or Achilles tendon pain, don't panic!
E3 Chiropractic + Wellness would be happy to help you relieve your pain and help you become stronger so that you can enjoy an injury-free running season!
If you have pain that is preventing you from being excited about this year's running season, click HERE to book an appointment with E3 Chiropractic + Wellness today!