Jogging is considered one of the best methods for getting fit, however we can really injure ourselves when we do it the wrong way or overdo it. Most people that start running quickly complain of pain in either their calf muscles or from pain in the front of the leg which is called shin splints.
Shin splints usually occur because of overtraining on hard surfaces such as a treadmill, a road or concrete. Shin splints can also occur when you have biomechanical problems or flat feet where you put your feet down wrong when you run. Tight or weak calf muscles can also contribute in lower leg shin pain.
What can I do when I have leg pain?
Leg pain can be very painful and can continue to be painful for weeks if you do not take care of the symptoms. If you feel any pain during your workout its best to step back and lower your exercise or stop running for a while.
Here are some other things you should do:
- Rest to allow the injury to heal, this can take anywhere from a few days or weeks depending on the injury.
- Apply ice or cold therapy right after your workout especially when it is very painful. Cold therapy helps to reduce the pain and inflammation. Do not put the ice directly on your skin unless you are constantly moving it around to prevent ice burns. Try and keep the ice on you for at least 10 minutes and apply it about 3 times per day.
- Make sure you stretch the muscles of the lower leg before and after your workout.
- Get yourself running shoes which have shock absorbing insoles. Shock on the lower leg is a big factor to getting shin splints.
- If your symptoms do not reduce after rest visit a rehabilitation centre or sports injury clinic to get professional help.
- You can always retain your fitness by doing some other form of exercise like swimming or cycling when the pain is too much and let your legs heal.
Prevention is always better than cure
Remember it’s always more important to prevent the injury rather than to deal with the pain. You should ease your way into jogging and increase your training little by little. You should never start jogging with the idea of exhausting yourself. People forget that it’s not only your fitness that needs to be worked on but your legs needs to get used to it as well. Your legs will eventually be strong enough so you can actually work on your fitness. Keep stretching and take it slow and you won’t develop this problem.