Shin Splints

Ouch. You ever get shin splints. The very uncomfortable pain, most commonly associated with your anterior shin bone (tibia). Well, often times people who are de-conditioned and out of shape experience this problem when they:

  • Go from sedentary and inactive to weight bearing and active
  • Go from sedentary and/or walking to linear, multi-directional or stop + start running
  • change running surfaces: grass to turf, pavement, concrete or wood
  • wear improper footwear: old, worn out sneakers or poorly fitting sneakers
  • have poor foot musculature (soft feet as opposed to strong, muscular feet)
  • have weak (lack of stability or loose) or jacked up (lack of mobility or stiff) ankles
  • have weak anterior shin muscles
  • have poor hip mobility (stiff hips)
  • have poor lumbar spine stability (weak core)
  • have poor recovery from activity
  • forgot their shin pads and got kicked by your partner in Krav Maga

Why does this happen?

The most common reason they experience this is because their feet are soft from wearing soft shoes. Their ankles are weak and stiff from previous ankle sprains or sitting too often and for too long. Their calves, Achilles tendon or entire lower leg musculatures are tight from also sitting too often and for too long. They lack mobility in their hips (too stiff, not a good dancer) and their core is probably weak (unstable and soft like a bowl full of jelly). You could go further and say their thoracic spine is stiff (upper back), their scapulo-thoracic joint (shoulder blade) is unstable and weak and their gleno-humeral or shoulder joint is stiff and weak. The whole kinetic chain is usually messed up, but not in all cases.

What do you do?

Here’s an 11 point action plan I use in my Newton (Boston) Change Your Body Boot Camps to correct shin splints for my participants from acute symptomatic treatment of the actual pain on your shins (ouch!) to the long term resolution of your issue, sometimes it’s even instantaneous relief, just ask Flo.

1. Ice massage with an ice cup (paper cup filled with water and frozen) rubbed over pain site for 10min (if cold sensitive, take off and put back on when tolerable)

2. Foam Roll calf and Achilles tendon. Turn foot in & out.

3. Foam Roll peronneals on the lateral aspect of the lower leg. This is the Curt Shilling muscle from the blood sox or sock days of 2004.

4. Foam Roll the shins

5. Lacrosse ball roll on foot

6. 3-Directional Flat Ankle Mobes (straight over 2nd toe, diagonally towards big toe & pinky toe)

7. 3-Directional Incline Ankle Mobes (straight over 2nd toe, diagonally over big & pinky toes)

8. Frontal Plane ankle mobes (pronation & supination)

9. Active Shin Stretch

10. Active Gastrocnemius Stretch

11. Active Soleus Stretch

Give it a whirl and post a comment below to let me know how it works for you.

Your coach,

Mike Alves

Boston Boot Camp

Newton Boot Camp

Change Your Body Boot Camps

Self Image

Self Image

There are 2 areas I am rapidly learning about to help my clients achieve their goals. Nutrition is one and psychology is the other. I’m confident my strength and conditioning programs do what their designed to do and am working to master these other 2 areas.

Nutrition involves building a network of go to experts to send clients to or ask questions of, as well as learning answers to basic questions/problems and creating systems to ensure success.

Psychology is a whole other world. Here I need to get into my clients heads and understand what they’re thinking, why they do or don’t do what they do (wink) and how they see themselves.

I’ve got a handful of self improvement resources I’m utilizing and a current one is a book called Psycho-Cybernetics by Dr. Maxwell Maltz.

Dr. Maltz was an renowned plastic surgeon who was mystified how some patients could have instantaneous personality change after surgery and others would not. The others, would still see themselves as blemished even though the particular area of dislike had been improved. These patients could even view before and after photographs of themselves and still see no change.

Poor Self Image

Dr. Maltz discovered they had a self image problem that plastic surgery could not correct. I’ve only just begun the book (re-reading Chapter 2) so I can’t give a full review, but you may already see what I’m hoping to learn. I’m hoping to learn how to spot people who have a poor self image and learn how to instantaneously change it (or as soon as possible).

Upon dialog with my human blog inspiration client, Lisa, about this topic, I learned about Physiognomy (pronounced with a silent G). Physiognomy is the assessment of a person’s character or personality from their outer appearance, especially the face. The term physiognomy can also refer to the general appearance of a person, object or terrain, without reference to its implied characteristics. Basically not only do people judge themselves, but they also judge other people as well.

You: “Duh, Mike! I could have told you that.”

Me: O.K. You’re right. I guess I wanted to share the new vocabulary word.

Anyways, (I’ll get to the point now), I suspect if you can change a person’s or your own self image, not only will it be easier for you to make and accept lasting physical change, but you could potentially alter an observer’s perception of you.

Example: If your countenance or facial expression at rest is one of a frown, sneer or saddness, people may draw the conclusion that your a walking dark cloud and to choose to stay away from you. On the flip side if your countenance at rest is one of a subtle smile or mysterious look, people may draw the conclusion that you’re a happy, attractive or interesting person and be drawn to you.

Not that you judge (wink), but what is your first impression of these countenances?

So in conclusion.

Sometime in the near future I hope to become excellent at instantaneous and sustainable self image corrections for myself, my clients and people I come in contact with. I hope to use this to alter the physiognomies or first impressions of other people. This combined with superior nutritional, strength and conditioning programs should result in a whole lotta people who love themselves and their new bodies/lifestyles.

Your coach,

Mike Alves

Newton Boot Camp

p.s. Speaking of Love, check out what Flo loves.

Sent: Friday, July 10, 2009 9:42:36 AM
Subject: Yay Boot Camp!

Hey Mike,
As challenging and hard as it is, I LOVE boot camp!…I’m always surprised by how great I feel at the end of the hour, ready to go and energized for the day.

Just wanted to let you know. 🙂