Shin Splints Stretches & Exercises – Ask Doctor Jo

Hey everybody, it’s Doctor Jo. I got an email
last week from Sandra, or San-dra, sorry I don’t know which one it actually is, but she’s
a runner and she has problems with shin splints. So she asked if I had any suggestions for
some shin stretches, and I absolutely do. So let’s get started. Ok, so the stretches
for the shin splints would be motions that you want to stretch your feet this way. When
you have shin splints, most of your pain is usually on the top, it’s the muscles on the
top here called your anterior tibialis muscles, so to stretch those, we’re gonna do pointing
type exercises. The first one as I’m doing now is you’re just going to point your feet
forward and get a good stretch in there.You want to hold it for a little bit, 5-10 seconds.
Relax. If your super flexible, once you stretch it this way, you can lean forward and push
it down a little bit more. Some people aren’t going to be able to do that, and that might
actually be too painful to start off with, but just pointing your toes forward. If that
feels easy, and it’s not getting a good stretch in there, then you can roll over to use the
floor to give you some extra stretch. So you can just kind of go up on your toes. See how
my toes are flat, but I’m off on the ground, so I’m getting pressure through my feet. And
if that seems easy as well, then you can come back and actually sit on your feet. Your toenails
actually want to be on the floor. That’s where you want to go. Your toes want to be flat
down on the floor. And this one’s gonna be a big stretch. It might hurt a little bit,
but you definitely wanna push through it. You don’t want it to be super painful, but
you want to feel that tension. So you’re just gonna rise up a little bit. You can do this
stretch if it’s comfortable 3 times for 30 seconds. Nice big stretch in there. And then
come back down. Now the next stretches involve a noodle or a roll, kind of like when we were
stretching out our IT Band in the IT Band stretches. So what this does, is this will
just stretch out the muscles, loosen it up a little bit for you. You can start it at
the top of the knee, and this is gonna go all the way down that anterior tibialis muscle.
So you’re gonna start here, and just roll forward. Nice and slow. If that feels pretty
good–good kind of hurt. You can push down, get a little more pressure on there. And roll
it out. Nice and slow so you’re getting all those muscle fibers. You can turn your foot
in a little bit, get that outer portion of the muscle. Rolling back and forth. You can
do this up to a minute. Whatever’s comfortable until your really start feeling those muscles
loosen up a little bit. And then the last one, you want to actually stretch out your
calf muscles, too, because if those are tight, that’s gonna affect everything in the leg.
So then you can put it right down where your Achilles Tendon is, lift your body up a little
bit, and roll all the way down, and come all the way back. Same kind of thing, if that
feels good, not a super stretch, push down a little harder. Give yourself a little more
stretch in that calf muscle right there. Just rolling back and forth. This is great to do
before you go running just to stretch out all those muscles, loosen them up so they
don’t get extra stress on them when you’re running. Those are stretches if you have shin
splints. Now if you try these stretches and it doesn’t really feel like it’s easing up,
make sure you go to your doctor or physical therapist because it could be a body mechanics
thing. You could be running wrong, or you may have shoes that are making your feet sore
and causing shin splints. So make sure if this isn’t helping, go to a professional and
see if they can get you some help. And if it feels good, and it starts feeling better,
and you want to actually strengthen your shins and your ankles muscles, then go to
and check out some of the strengthening exercises. Alright, there you have it, so have fun, be
safe, and I hope you feel better soon.