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Wellness Wednesday: Foam Rolling for Shin Splints

Wellness Wednesday: Foam Rolling for Shin Splints

Painful, and often agonizingly slow to heal, shin splints are the bane of many an athlete. Coupled with R.I.C.E. (Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation) and sports massage, foam rolling the calf muscles can often provide relief and a return to sport.

Calf therapy using a foam roll:

Placing the foam roll on the floor, position your body on the foam roll and slowly move back and forth. If you encounter a tight area, you can rest on that area for 30 to 60 seconds before continuing to roll to loosen up the muscle.

 

Back of calf (Soleus and Gastronemius)

 

 

 

 

 

Back of Calf:

Slowly roll up and down the full calf muscle. You can rotate from the center to the sides as needed.

 

Outside of calf (Peroneals)

 

 

 

 

Outside of Calf:

Slowly roll up and down the sides of the calf muscle.

 

Front of calf (Anterior Tibialis)

 

 

 

 

Front of Calf*:

Slowly roll up and down the front of the calf muscle.

*Use your best judgment before trying this roll if you are currently experiencing shin splint pain.

 

When foam rolling, remember to roll slowly and gently at first. As he tissue starts to loosen up you’ll be able to roll with less pain and use more pressure. If you are injured or have a sore area that is too painful to work on, roll only lightly or around the edges. Allow the inflamed area to calm down before attempting to foam roll vigorously. If you are unsure, consult your therapist or doctor.

 

Lets throw in calf stretches to go with the foam rolling.

Here are two straightforward stretches you can do anywhere without equipment. Make sure to keep your knees, head, shoulders and hips aligned to prevent injury. Get into stretch position, take a deep breath, exhale and then relax into the stretch.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Calf, straight leg stretch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Calf, bent leg stretch

 

Note: stretch your calves gently. Overstretching is a leading cause of calf injury.

Don’t hesitate to find what works for you. A rolling pin, ‘The Stick’, tennis or self-massage balls, stretch-out straps, self-massage…no matter what you use, your shins will thank you!

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