Basketball players can get some of the worst shin splints of all sports because of the mix of running, jumping, and cutting done on a hard surface. The bad news is that shin splints suck, but the good news is that there is plenty that you can do. If you notice a case of shin splints from basketball starting to hurt your lower legs, it is essential that you take appropriate action right away. The longer you let this injury linger, the more chances you have of it becoming a stress fracture that takes you out even longer.
Symptoms of Shin Splints from Basketball
- Pain in the shaft of the bone
- Tender shin muscles
- Pain when cutting
- Tight calves
- Pain when jumping
- Pain when running
The signs of shin splints from basketball are all obvious. You will feel pain in your shin when you run up and down the court. It will not feel good to jump, or land and your leg will be extremely sore to touch after practices and games.
The important thing to note as a basketball player is that the injury will not just magically go away. A lot of basketball players try and solve their injury problems by playing more basketball.
The First Steps to Dealing With Shin Splints from Basketball
Problem 1 with Shin Splints from Basketball – The Shoes
One of the first things you should check when you get a case of shin splints from basketball is to look at your shoes. A lot of the time the type of shoes you are wearing are either not great for your feet, or they are so worn down that they don’t make sense to wear.
The problem is that most basketball players choose their shoes based off of how the shoes look. Not how the shoes fit, or how they perform. If you want to be healthy, start choosing your basketball shoes for different reasons.
Problem 2 with Shin Splints from Basketball – Volume
How much running and jumping are you doing? Are you practicing twice a day plus taking shots on your own. You may need to cut back temporarily as you get your body ready to handle that volume.
If you are doing too much jumping and running and your muscles cannot absorb all of the force, your bone will have to take on that stress, and you do not want that. Take the time to practice your free throws where you do not need to run or jump.
Problem 3 with Shin Splints from Basketball – Poor Form
The last problem and the hardest to change is having poor mechanics. If your jumping mechanics and running mechanics suck, it will add more pressure to your shins then someone with proper running form.
The reason this is the hardest to change is that you need someone to tell you what to change and then to continually cue you on the changes you are making. Not everyone has this. One of the best alternatives is watching YouTube videos of basketball with excellent form.
Preventing Shins Splints from Basketball
Strengthen Lower Leg
- Calves – Simple toe raises work well
- Soleus – Seated toe raises
- Tibialis Anterior – Dorsiflexion with resistance
- Tibialis Posterior – Inversion with resistance
The muscles above all take stress off of the shin bone. If these muscles are not capable of handing the load placed on them, the bones start to take more stress than it was meant to take.
- Calve Stretches
- Stretch Anterior Tibialis
There are just two areas that you need to focus on stretching. They are more than likely tight because as a basketball player you are constantly running and jumping and the calves have to work hard during both of those activities. As the calves develop more trigger points, they become tighter and limit the range of motion of the ankle. All of these things end up putting more stress on the tibia.
Find Healthcare Provider
One of the best things you can do is find a sports medicine healthcare provider to help you through this injury. Some too many athletes try and tough out their injuries in hopes of not having to spend money, and it often does not work out great.
The reason is that you not only stress about the injury but you stress about figuring out what to do. When you see a healthcare provider they help you figure out what you need to do so you can focus on doing it.
With shin splints, a healthcare provider will be able to help you figure out how bad they are if you need new shoes, while also helping you to heal the injury so you can get back on the basketball court.
How to Find an Excellent Provider
Kho Health can help you to find the perfect healthcare provider to help you through your shin splints. If you know what you are looking for you can use our search database. If you do not know, then we can help you figure that out as well.