Preventing running injuries

leg pain

Stress fractures and shin splints are the most common running injuries in populations engaged in vigorous physical activity. Many runners, soldiers and athletes tend to suffer from them frequently. To know how to diagnose the problem, we must first understand what is, and what causes it.


Stress fractures

Stress fractures caused by overload on the bone over time, in contrast to normal fracture caused by a single traumatic event. All load exerted on the bone during exercise impairs bone structure, and then corrected by the body, a process which reconstructs and strengthens bone. Stress fracture occurs when the body cannot repair the bone quickly enough, what happens in four situations:

  • When the body is not used to the load exerted on it suddenly (training too intense for someone who is not prepared for this physically – common problem among beginners.
  • Too much load over time (occurring in athletes who train frequently experienced too much, or performing strenuous workouts too.
  • Restlessness and poor nutrition.
  • Using the wrong training shoes that don’t fit your foot shape. Running on a hard surface too (such as concrete)

 Shin splints

Shin splints is a clinical phenomenon characterized by pain in the lower part of the tibia, that occur from inflammation in the muscle tissue. Like stress fractures, shin splints are caused by sudden intense efforts, an excess of long-term training, restlessness, and training in the wrong.


While stress fracture can occur in several places in the body (such as the hip and foot), shin splints, by definition (“Shin” English = Market), appears only in the tibia. Because this is also a very popular area which are stress fractures (populations army soldiers and trainees), there is often confusion between the two injuries, which leads to incorrect treatment and therefore ineffective. To address the problem effectively, we must be able to recognize certain.

General Rules

  • Avoid running on on hard surfaces (concrete, asphalt) as much as you can.
  • Diversify the running surface (sand, grass, gravel path, etc.)
  • Increase the training load gradually (in terms of distance and in terms of weight pinched.
  • Perform dynamic stretching before the workout.
  • Static stretching should be performed at the end of the workout.
  • Avoid downhill runs.
  • Avoid running on surfaces that are  inclined lateral (that tend to the right or to the left considerably).
  • If your leg muscles are exhausted from earlier workouts in a level the hurts your training, the load must be reduced until your legs recover.

How to heal running injuries: stress fractures and shin splints

  • Let your legs rest – avoid vigorous activity completely and no vigorous activity (such as walking) as possible.
  • Ensuring adequate intake of vitamin D and calcium.
  • Ensuring continuous 8 hours of sleep a night.
  • Applying ice to the leg may aid in recovery.

Following these tips will affect the amount of time required to recover the body. It typically takes between 4-6 weeks of rest, but in severe cases can take longer recovery time than that. When the injury is completely healed you should perform easier workouts at first to avoid injury recurring.


Eat Calcium and Vitamin D rich foods:

Proper calcium intake is very important, as it helps prevent stress fractures and shin splints occur.The recommended amount of calcium consumption varies from one person to a person (age and sex), but in general, a person who deals with permanent physical activity should consume 1,500 mg of calcium a day.

Calcium in foods

Food Size Calcium (mg)
Milk 1 glass 200
White Cheese (5%) 1 spoon 45
Yogurt (3%) 1 cup 160
Yellow cheese 1 slice 200
 Cottage Cheese 1 cup 250
Almond Half glass 150
Dried figs 2 fruits 25
Sardines (in oil) 2 fish 90
Tuna (in oil) 1 15

*water contains calcium as well.


Cottage Cheese





James Wilks

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