One of the most painful injuries that people who exercise (especially runners) suffer from are shin splints. While a relatively minor injury that does not involve surgery to correct, it does require some rest and careful training to help prevent the injury from becoming worse.

A shin splint is basically when the muscles and tendons of the lower leg pull away from the tibia (or shin bone). Shin splints are typically caused by over straining or weak muscles along the front of the leg.

Here’s how you strengthen the anterior tibialis (muscle in the shin)

Do 12-15 repetitions of these exercises in sets of three to get rid of this painful condition fast.

Shin Stretch: Sit on your feet with the top of your foot and legs flat against the floor (best done on a mat). Slowly lean back to increase the stretch supporting your upper body with your arms.

Toe Pull Backs: Sit with legs together, straight out in front of your body. Use a slow controlled motion to pull your toes back towards your torso. If you do this exercise properly, you will feel the front of your shin tighten. This is the gentler of the exercises and is good to do while you’re actually experiencing pain.

Toe Raises: Balance with your heels on the edge of a step, then pull your toes upwards and in towards your shins. Again, you will know you are doing this exercise right when you feel the front of your leg tighten.

Heel Walking: Balance on your heals barefoot and walk around in circles for a set period of time. Start small with only 12-15 seconds then build up to a minute or more.

Self Myo-Fascial Release: Apply a tennis ball, rolling pin or foam roller, over the inflamed area, find the knots and the spots and work on them for 15-30 seconds. The more you do this, the easier it is, the less pain you will have. This technique is like a deep tissue massage.