Orthotics and shin splints are made for one another since shin splints are in need of more support and orthotics provide extra support. It sounds simple and it is, however, orthotics, whether they are custom made or not, can’t do it by themselves. Orthotics, are but one of several ways to treat and prevent shin splints.
Before we go any further let’s get into the cause of shin splints for those who have never had them and some who have had them and maybe still have them, but don’t know how they got them. When I first discovered I had shin splints I had no idea how I got them and I’m sure there are people still out there like I was.
The primary cause of shin splints is overtraining or overuse of lower leg muscles that are not prepared or not in condition for the stress we put them through. It can be traumatizing to bones, muscles and joints to do any type of exercise or activity that they are not used to.
You might be thinking, okay, now I know not to overtrain, but what else can I do? Here are a few simple things you can do to prevent shin splints: proper stretching and warm up, proper foot wear; both socks and shoes, avoid running or jumping on hard surfaces and allow enough recovery time for leg muscles to rest.
Now, let’s get back to orthotics and shin splints. Many people aren’t exactly sure what orthotics are and may not know the difference between insoles and orthotics. While orthotics and insoles are similar in that they both fit inside shoes to provide extra comfort and support they also have differences.
Insoles are foam or gel inserts that are designed to provide temporary relief for painful feet. If you have worn insoles then you know that they wear out fairly quick and that they provide minimal support for other parts of the body such as the back and legs.
On the other hand, orthotics are shoe inserts that are made specifically to correct and balance problems in the feet, legs, knees, back and hips. There are both prescription othotics and over the counter to choose from. Many people start with over the counter to try them out, since it is by far the cheapest of the two options.
Prescription foot orthotics can get costly to the tune of $400-$600, so it only makes sense to give over the counter foot orthotics a try. Over the counter foot orthotics are usually made of plastic or foam and cost quite a bit less than prescription (under $25).
Three of the most popular brands of over the counter foot orthotics are Powerstep, Superfeet and Dr. Scholl’s in that order. I prefer Powerstep for working out they seem to provide better foot support and they last longer. To read reviews on these brands check them out at Amazon.
There you have it the scoop on orthotics and shin splints do with it as you will.