How to treat and prevent shin splints


I was recently asked about the best ways to prevent and treat shin splints.  Here are some of my top tips for shin splints:

  • Shin splints is a muscle imbalance. When you walk forward, you’re pushing off with your calf muscle.  The other side is where you get shin splints. So, to prevent shin splints, you should walk backwards, sideways, do ankle circles and hip circles.
  • Some stretches to relieve shin splints are: walk on a tennis ball to stretch the bottom of your foot.
  • You can also do a traditional calf stretch: Put both hands on the wall, feet together, then step back 2-3 feet with one leg, keeping both heels down.  Another calf stretch you can do is this: Bring the same foot you used to step back toward the wall by one foot and bend that leg at the knee, keeping heels down.  Repeat on both sides.
  • Treatments to reduce pain include: epsom salt baths, foam roller, peppermint oil, inversion table, infrared heat, cold laser.
  • Preventative treatments: walk backwards and sideways
  • Apply externally: arnica
  • Internally: turmeric


Shin splints are a pain, literally.  Hopefully these tips will help you treat and prevent them.

Top 20 Fitness Trends 2019

2018 is coming to a close, and 2019 is almost here.  With that in mind, I’ve been doing some forward-looking research on how to bring the latest fitness trends to my clients.  

For a lot of people, “trend” is a dirty word.  I think those people associate that word with “fads.”  I think there’s a difference between a trend and a fad, but I think it takes some research to figure out which is which.  A fad is a flash in the pan–in one day and out the next–whereas a trend is a guidepost on the way to the next evolution of a style, business, or science.

A group of researchers with the American College of Sports Medicine came up with a list of the top 20 fitness trends for 2019.  This is one of the best analyses out there of the direction that fitness is moving. Here is the list:

  1. Wearable technology
  2. Group training
  3. High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
  4. Fitness programs for older adults.
  5. Bodyweight training
  6. Employing certified fitness professionals
  7. Yoga
  8. Personal training
  9. Functional fitness training
  10. Exercise is medicine
  11. Health and wellness Coaching
  12. Exercise for weight loss
  13. Mobile exercise apps
  14. Mobility/Myofascial devices
  15. Worksite health promotion and workplace well-being programs
  16. Outcome measurements
  17. Outdoor activities
  18. Licensure for fitness professionals
  19. Small group personal training
  20. Post-rehabilitation classes


I would add my own number 21 to this list: Pre-habilitation training.  What’s that? It’s exercise designed to minimize the negative impact of a traumatic procedure like surgery.  Elite athletes have access to this type of training in order to reduce recovery times, but it should be available to all, since it can improve outcomes for many procedures.

I hope you enjoy your new year!  I think it’s going to be my best yet.


Jeff Miller is a fitness trainer and corrective exercise specialist with 20 years of experience in health and fitness as an herbalist and coach. He is owner Function Fitness ( and provides in home service.  He can be reached at 518-281-3772.


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