Yoga to Heal and Prevent Shin Splints
Shin bone pain, also known as shin splints, are a common occurrence and
affect a number of people all over the world. It is known to be more common
amongst individuals that place a significant amount of consistent
their legs such as athletes and people who go for regular
walks or runs.
Shin splints are an imbalance in the
muscles that pull the foot up and point
the toe down, and exercises that help prevent shin splints are those in which
these muscles are pushing and pulling against
aching, throbbing or tenderness along the inside of the shin (though it can
radiate to the outside also) about halfway down, or all along the shin from the
ankle to the knee. Pain when you press on the inflamed area. Pain is most severe
at the start of a run, but can go away during a run once the muscles are
loosened up (unlike a stress fracture of the shinbone, which hurts all the
time). With tendinitis, pain resumes after the run.
Tired or inflexible calf muscles put too much stress on tendons, which become
strained and torn. Over-pronation aggravates this problem, as does running on
hard surfaces, such as concrete sidewalks.
Beginning runners are the most susceptible to shin splints for a variety of
reasons, but the most common is that they're using leg muscles that haven't been
stressed in the same way before. Another common cause of shin splints among
beginners is poor choice of running shoes, or running in something other than
running shoes. Runners who have started running after a long layoff are also
susceptible to shin splints because they often increase their mileage too
The following Yogasanas (poses) and guidelines will help people diagnosed
with shin splints. However, the treatment for shin splints is not universal in
all conditions, and you should consult your doctor regularly, particularly in
cases of enduring shin pain, even before starting the therapy. Try to follow
these tips as well.
Apply ice packs on or around the region for 20 – 25 minutes, thrice a day.
Consider the use of special footwear.
Never neglect your doctor’s anti-inflammatory medication.
The presence of cramps around the shin bone could also
indicate a deficiency of
potassium in the body – something that can easily
be treated with the increased consumption of bananas – which are a great
source of the
You need plenty of relaxation in your condition, so the best asana for you would
Shavasana (Corpse pose). In addition, you may do two other poses that will
help relieve the pressure on the region. These are Viparita Karani (Legs up the
Wall Inverted Pose) and Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand).
Viparita Karani (Legs up the Wall Inverted Pose)
Sit next to a wall with the side of your body on the wall and your knees
bent into the chest.
Bring the lower back onto the floor while bringing the legs up the wall.
Keep the upper body supported with the elbows on the floor.
Slowly release the elbows and lower the whole back down to the floor.
If you are comfortable, stay here several minutes.
To come out, bring the knees into your chest and roll to your side.
You may wish to support the low back with a bolster or several folded
blankets placed right at and parallel to the wall. This also increases the angle
Lie down with your back on a Yoga Mat.
Your shoulders should lie on the edge and your head rests on the mat. Your
legs are drawn in and still stand on the mat.
Lift your hips off the floor and bring your legs up, over and beyond your
At this point, lift your back and move your legs further beyond your head.
Straighten your spine and keep your back straight. Move your hands toward
Place your arms against your upper back and try to place your hands as
near as possible to the shoulder blades. Try to place your elbows at
shoulder-width. If you cannot do this, put them at a somewhat wider distance
from each other. If you want, you can use a belt to keep the arms together.
Push your back upwards with your hands. You will get a force upwards
coming from the seventh neck-vertebra.
Use your hands to push the back forward with the result that it gets
narrower and straighter and there is an increased pressure on your shoulders.
At the same time, this requires more power of the muscles of the lower back.
Rest your weight on the back side of the shoulders. See to it that you do not
bend the upper back and the chest.
Lift up your legs, one at a time, and see to it that the pelvis is placed
straight over your back and your hands. Your legs are placed a little forward.
Divide the weight of your legs between the hands and the shoulders. Build up
strength in the upper lower back and give space to your chest and shoulder
A slight bending of the legs sees to it that the back remains straight and
that the dynamism from the sacrum and the
hip is maintained. Wait until your
shoulders start to relax more. Try to increase the right dynamism through the
angle of the legs and via the hands.
After some time, try placing your arms a little lower in the direction of
the shoulder blades on your back. See to it that the elbows do not stand too
far apart. Breathe in and out quietly and try to find your balance.
Slowly bring your legs back to the mat, one by one, stretch out your arms
(lengthwise), away from you and slowly roll your back downward.
Pranayama (Breathing exercises)
Kapalabhatti (Skull cleansing) -
Kapalabhatti is a series of short, sharp
exhales through the nose, using the lower belly to help snap the air out.
order to prevent hyperventilation when doing this
breathing exercise, it is
important to focus on the exhale; a brief inhale will happen as a natural
reflex. Keep the exhale quick and sharp, but do not exert too much force
through the nostrils, as this can cause damage.
Sit in a comfortable cross-legged position on the floor or on a yoga block.
Bring both hands behind you and press just the fingertips into the floor to
help lift and open your chest.
Inhale to about ¾ your regular lung capacity.
Using the low belly to snap the air out, begin to exhale in quick, sharp
Continue for approximately 50 short breaths, or until you feel the need to
Take a few deep breaths and then repeat the breathing exercise.
Anuloma Viloma (Alternate nostril breathing) - If
you are really healthy, you will breathe predominantly through the Ida nostril
about one hour and fifty minutes, then through the Pingala nostril. But in
many people, this natural rhythm is disturbed.
Anuloma Viloma restores,
equalizes and balances the flow of Prana in the body.
Sit in Padmasana.
Fold your index and middle finger of right hand towards palm. Now thumb
should remain towards right nostril and ring finger and little finger should
be towards left nostril.
Closing the right nostril with the thumb inhale (prolonged) through the
Now closing the left nostril with the ring finger and the little finger,
exhale slowly through right nostril removing the thumb. (The time should be
double than the time taken for inhaling i.e. the ratio should be 1 : 2).
After exhalation, inhale (prolonged) through the same nostril (right).
Now closing the right nostril with thumb exhale through left nostril
(removing the ring finger and the little finger) as per previous practice.
This completes one round of easy Anuloma-Viloma.
Shin splints are due to an
between the muscles that lift the foot and those that pull it down.
Avoid walking and running competition until the pain is gone.
Ibuprofen or other anti-inflammatory can help.
Anterior Compartment Syndrome
is a more rare cause of pain on the outer
side of the lower leg.
Stress Fracture can occur in those starting an
exercise program, with
sharp pain a below the knee.
Dated 18 December 2013