Yoga for Shin Splints | Holy Yoga Therapy

Last year, I ran my first ever charity event (City To Surf).  After that run, my hip flexors and inside of my right lower leg hurt for about 5 days.  In fact, I’m pretty sure I started feeling it 10km into the run.  I must have developed my shin splint then and didn’t even realise I was suffering from shin splints for months after.  I would continue to go to the gym twice a week, getting on the elliptical for 5km each.  Months later, I accepted the charity run had more long lasting effects than the feeling of success for completing the 14km run.  I realised the shin splints had to be dealt with.  I’ve personally found the flow below quite helpful in relieving the pain and ensuring I can continue to exercise at the gym regularly.
SPECIFIC ISSUE
Shin Splints (Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome / Tibial Periostitis)

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THE BENEFITS OF YOGA FOR THIS ISSUE (SYMPTOM CONTROL)
The primary cause of shin splints are from over stressing the muscles in the lower leg, usually affecting the shin muscles down the front (Anterior Tibialis) of the leg or down the inside of the leg (Posterior Tibialis).  Although the aforementioned are the common sites of pain, sufferer of shin splints may complain of pain or tenderness in any surrounding area along the ‘shin’ down to the medial side of ankle and/or stretching down the Archilles tendon.
In general, the common term ‘shin splints’ can cover a broad area of the front of the lower leg down to the ankles. Occasionally, there may be redness or swelling of the affected area.
Shin splints occur when the attachment of the muscles originating from the tibia become irritated or inflamed.  It is commonly a result of an increase in distance or intensity of exercise using the lower legs and often combined with over-pronation of the foot (rolling in or a ‘flat foot’).
Shin splints are common in athletes or for those with sudden challenge to reach a goal (marathon or training schedule).  They can re-occur if left untreated or deteriorate over time, if not given sufficient level of rest.
The physical aspects of yoga are beneficial for shin splints to:
  1. help stretch out and increase flexibility of tight calf and shin muscles, which may have resulted from shin splints
  2. stretch out tight IT bands and calf muscles pulling on the back of the ankle to assist in flexion of the foot in walking/running, relieving the stress on the shin muscles, to minimise re-occurence of shin splints
  3. assist in correction of ‘flat feet’ or over-pronation of the feet to minimise re-occurence of shin splints
  4. strengthen and the muscles that can help with stability and prevent shin splints, such as the hip flexors, the shin muscles themselves.
Breath work in yoga always helps with carrying oxygen around the body, which aids in all forms of inflammation.
Lastly, the ‘holy’ in Holy Yoga is pivotal in the healing and prevention of shin splints, as with other dysfunctions; particularly for athletes or those who struggle to drop the ‘addiction’ to their training/workout schedule by allowing them to find identity in Christ and dispel any fear in having to stop their training/schedule to allow for rest.

 

CONTRAINDICATIONS
1. If professional medical practitioner has advised against yoga
2. During the inflammation stage of a shin splint, when the joints are inflamed and affected, do not START a yoga practise. Follow R.I.C.E (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation). It’s best to use yoga as a preventative treatment than a symptomatic treatment.
3. If diagnosed with stress fracture or even tiny muscle tears, seek medical advice on any therapy program, including yoga.

 

15-30 MINUTE FLOW
1. Hero and Victorious Breathing (10 breaths)
2. Bound angle
3. Seated forward fold, using strap or hands to wrap around the ball of feet to flex the feet
4. (Left side first) Half Splits, first with foot flexed and toes pointing up and then foot is flat on the ground
5. Half Pigeon -> transition to King Pigeon if it’s available or use a strap to get into the pose to help stretch the quad
—*Repeat 4 & 5 on the right side*—
6. Downward dog
7. 3 legged dog (Left & Right)
8. Pyramid pose (Left & Right)
9. Mountain (2 deep breaths)  *Notice any tightness around hips, quads, calves, shins
10. Forward fold
11. Downward Dog
12. Toe Squat (Kneeling with toes tucked under and let body weight sink into the heels, walk knees forward a few steps)
13  Frog pose (Breathe and allow the opening of the hips and inner hamstrings)
14. Childs Pose * Seek God and His power of healing
15. Legs up the wall *Final resting pose (10 breaths)

 

These suggestions offered in the Holy Yoga With LoveJosephine yoga classes or therapy programs on www.lovejosephine.com are not intended to replace medical recommendations by your medical practitioners.  It is highly recommended and, in most cases, essential that you stay compliant to the treatment advice given by a western medical professional.

The suggestions and educational resource offered by Holy Yoga with LoveJosephine on www.lovejosephine.com are meant to be observed and used in conjunction with medical treatment. Neither the therapy programs nor yoga classes are designed nor recommended to replace medical treatment.

The resources offered here are intended to complement and support the medical treatment targeting the specified issue, with the goal of enhancing the well-being of the patient.

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