Image: https://wholyme.com/

Online searches for ‘how to help shin splints’ climbed 600% over the past 12 months, as Brits experience the pitfalls of their new running hobby.

Conducted by WholyMe, the research examined Google trends to see how searches related to running injuries have changed since the pandemic began.

The top five most popular running injury searches since the pandemic began

  • How to help shin splints – +600%
  • Sore knee from running – +400%
  • Sore Achilles after running – +250%
  • Ankle support for running – +250%
  • Lower back pain after running – +200%

To help, the brand has drawn on two of their ambassadors for advice: Olympic athlete Ross Murray and pain physiotherapist and ultrarunner Richmond Stace. The pair have answered some of the most pressing questions to help new and experienced runners relieve and prevent their aches and pains.

Addressing the 600% increase in searches for ‘how to help shin splints’, Richmond explains: “There are many reasons why shin splints occur. Much emphasis is put on biomechanics but this is just one of many potential factors. Only addressing footwear and foot position is like trying to make a cake with just an egg and a bowl.

Take a look at your training routine – is it too intense? Or is there a lack of recovery time? Shin splints can also be caused by the wrong running shoes, a sedentary work life, stress, ill health or even poor sleep.

The best place to start is with – you guessed it – rest! Consider seeking professional advice to discuss your training, health, lifestyle and other relevant factors. Then the best course of action can be determined as a route back to sustained running and performance.”

Offering his advice on the 250% surge in people suffering with a sore Achilles after running, Ross Murray says: “[A sore Achilles] usually means you’re overloading the area; this is done by running too much or too hard. Consider cutting back the intensity of your training by 15% until your Achilles doesn’t hurt. Then you can look to increase the intensity on a bi-weekly basis by 5-10%.”

Ross suggests icing the foot to soothe the Achilles area: “What you need is a bucket that you can fit your foot in… I’d recommend keeping it in there for around 12 minutes.”

Full answers for each of the top injury queries can be found here.