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Shin Splints The Irish Dancers Nightmare
Ryan & O’Donnell / Blog / Tips / Shin Splints The Irish Dancers Nightmare

Shin Splints The Irish Dancers Nightmare


Tibial Stress Syndrome




Sore Legs ?

There’s nothing worse than achy, throbbing shins, maybe after an intense Irish Dance training session. If you’re experiencing pain along your shins in one or both legs and persists or gets worse over time. You could be suffering from a case of shin splints (medically known as medial tibial stress syndrome).

Shin splints are a frequent, exercise-related injury that is especially common in adolescents. And it occurs when the leg muscles and soft tissues that support the shinbone (tibia) become overworked, irritated, and inflamed.


                                                                                                 Shin Splints





What Do Shin Splints Feel Like?

The most common symptom of shin splints is achy pain down your shin and lower leg. Pain might only be noticeable when doing certain activities, like jumping as this can aggravate the condition as the leg muscles and tissues are overworked, becoming irritated and inflamed.

Swelling around the shins and tenderness to touch can also be symptoms and may even start hurting with walking or at rest in more severe cases.




                                                                                      Not Suitable Irish Dance Shoes



What Causes Shin Splints?

Shin splints are an injury that may develop when exercise stress is repeated on the leg muscles, shinbone, and connective soft tissues. Runners, military recruits, and dancers are the main three groups of people most commonly diagnosed with shin splints due to the nature of their training.

The following factors may contribute to the development of shin splints

  • Dancers with foot abnormalities. An issue like flat feet or high arches increased stress on the muscles, bones, and soft tissues in the lower leg
  • Weak muscles (sometimes happens after a growth spurt) ankles can place increased stress and pressure on the lower leg muscles.
  • The training schedule is too high or there has been a recent increase in the intensity of training (approaching competitions)
  • Wearing worn-out, poorly fitting, or unsupported Irish Dancing Hard shoes while exercising can lead to the development of shin splints.




How To Prevent Shin Splints ?

  • Avoid practicing on tile or concrete floor at home.  And if you spend a lot of time jumping in class, choose footwear outside of class with good arch support so your muscles have some time to rest.
  • Honor your rest and recovery time. This is when your muscles grow and get stronger. Try not to overdo your training. As a general rule, I recommend dancing up to the same number of hours per week as your age. Anything over that amount can increase your risk for overuse injuries.
  • Balanced nutrition is always a good idea. Active, athletic bodies need a good balance of nutrients, protein and hydration to build muscle, recover from exercise and grow strong bones. Choose protein, fruits, vegetables, and complex carbohydrates to fuel your body whenever you can.
  • Practice landing softly or quietly.  This encourages you to use all of the foot muscles and to eccentrically load the Tibialis Posterior and Soleus muscles to decelerate the leg. Exercises for your toes and your glutes can also help prevent hard landings.
  • Get better shoes with a shock reducing insole. Every Ryan & O’Donnell Deluxe shoe is made using a full insole layer of NOENE material. These shoes offers up to a 98% reduction of rebound and unlike some shock absorbers, retains this efficiency over it’s lifespan of about 2 years. Noene has passed the strictest medical tests to become the only shock dispersing insole to be a class 1 medical device and is exclusive to Ryan & O’Donnell dance shoes.
  • Of course, if you’re experiencing pain in your shin that is persisting or getting worse, make sure and have your symptoms checked out by a qualified healthcare professional who can give you a full assessment and personalized recommendations for proper healing and recovery!

Are Ryan & O’Donnell shoes are the best for your feet ?

At Ryan & O’Donnell we have been developing our Irish dance footwear with the help of professional athletes, and dance teachers like Owen McAuley. With their help we feel that we have now developed the worlds best and also the safest dance shoe in on the market, many innovations  such as a full NOENE material insole, in our deluxe Irish Hard shoes.  The 5 eyelet secure fastening similar to a running shoes to aid with fit and comfort. Padded heel cuff to help alleviate the infamous heel rub. Hollow echo chambers which not only greatly reduce the weight of the shoes, but also help enhance the sounds. And of course the most important of all “straight from the box comfort” no more stuffing with wet paper or begging your mum to wear them around the house to “break them in” all or Irish dance shoes are made with only the finest of calf leather so not only are the breathable and durable, but also flexible and pliable so you can take them straight from the box to the stage.


                                                                                                          Noene Shock Absorbing Insole


What is Noene ?

At the University of Brussels Biomechanics Laboratory the forces transmitted to a person running and walking, due to the foot striking the ground, have been measured. These measurements were made by means of sensors inserted into the footwear and analysed with the help of a Light Electronic Gait Analyser. Comparison was made between the use of conventional footwear and footwear in which a 2mm thick Noene foam plantar had been inserted.

The test dynamic conditions were: a frequency of 70 steps per minute, corresponding to a cycle of 860 msecs. The time during which the return forces act is about one third of the cycle. The graph shows the measurements made at the heel, where are the lateral and medial tubercles, which is the part of the foot receiving the first and major shock.  It will be observed that the maximum response pressure is 7.6 N/mm2  with ordinary footwear and 6.4 N/mmwith Noene insert footwear. Return force duration is reduced by 20% with Noene inserts. The total force exerted, that is the product of the momentary forces and their duration time, is reduced by 40%. The use of Noene in footwear reduces fatigue and the risk of those microtraumas on the osteocartilage structures which are the cause of tendinitis and periostitis.

For more information you can visit www.noene.com




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