Person kneels to tie their sneaker

Too Much Treadmill? Outdoor Training Could Help Your Shin Splints

Researchers, including kinesiology alumni and professor Jay Hertel, have found adding gait exercises can benefit those experiencing the condition.

Josh Barney

Good news for treadmill runners who suffer from stubborn and painful shin splints: New research suggests that outdoor gait training may help.

Jay Hertel
Jay Hertel, Joe Gieck Professor in Sports Medicine

Researchers conducted a randomized controlled trial and found that four weeks of gait training outdoors combined with home exercises often prescribed for shin splints led to improved running biomechanics even when runners were using a treadmill.

These improvements included decreasing the time the runners’ feet were in contact with the ground or treadmill, a recently identified contributor to shin splints.

Based on the trial results, the researchers are recommending that clinicians include outdoor gait training as part of rehabilitation programs for patients struggling with chronic shin splints.

The research team included kinesiology alumni Alexandra F. DeJong Lempke and Xavier D. Thompson, as well as Joe Gieck Professor in Sports Medicine Jay Hertel.

Read full article on UVA Today.

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