Shin Splints

How can I prevent shin splints when I hike downhill?
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How can I prevent shin splints when I hike downhill?

Question:

How can I prevent shin splints when I hike downhill?

Submitted by - M.F., Spokane Valley, WA

Answer:

With as many mountains as your state has, you must dread those descents. Sharp pains in the shins (often called shin splints) often arise from muscle inflammation or small cracks in the tibia. But because your injury only occurs going downhill, I think it's caused by an improper foot strike. You can fix this by getting a podiatrist to add cushioned inserts to your shoes or boots. In the meantime, to reduce the pain on the trail, try icing your shins, taking ibuprofen, or pre-hike stretching by lying flat on the ground and pointing your toes as far forward as possible.