Can You Do Stair Stepper With Shin Splints?
Stair stepper comes with a host of benefits, from strengthening the muscles to improving balance and coordination. It’s also best for fat burning, strengthening the core, decreasing lower back pain, and increasing bone intensity.
But the question is should you use a stair stepper with shin splints? Will the stair stepper machine make the shin splint worse?
This post discusses everything related to shin splints and stair steppers. Keep reading to know how stair steppers can affect shin splints.
What are Shin Splints
A shin splint is a painful condition that arises due to inflammation in the lower leg. It further increases the inner area of your shin bone.
This condition is also called medial tibial stress syndrome and is caused by the overuse of muscles. Runners, dancers, and gymnasts generally experience this problem.
Shin splints can be of two types, i.e., posterior and anterior, which occur in different leg areas. In the posterior shin splint, pain occurs at the back of the leg, while in the anterior shin splint, the pain is towards the front of your leg.
An increase in pain can cause stress fracture or muscle detaching from bone. Anyone with shin splints will feel a dull ache or sharp pain inside the lower leg bone. The pain increases while performing activities like dancing, walking, or running.
Inflammation of muscles, tendons, or connective tissue from repetitive stress and overuse can worsen shin splints. Overuse can happen when you start a new exercise routine without developing a tolerance level. Or it can happen if you have not rested properly between two sessions.
Can You Use Stair Stepper with Shin Splints
Yes, you can use a stair stepper with shin splints. It is known to help deal with this painful condition because you don’t put excessive force on the shins.
Putting your feet on the stair stepper during a workout has less impact on your shin. It makes the exercise safer and more effective during shin splints.
Avoid putting more pressure or increasing the intensity of stair stepper exercise during this painful condition. Doing so can put you in a difficult situation and even increase the pain, which can be difficult to deal with.
How to Use Stair Stepper with Shin Splints
The stair stepper offers a low-impact workout, which benefits joints. It offers a great cardio workout and burns calories without putting too much pressure on the shins or other joints.
If you have recently started working out and are experienced shin split, here’s how you can use a stair stepper:
- Stand on your stair stepper
- Scoot forward, so only your heels are on the stairs and face down. Make sure the rest of your foot is hanging off. You can hold a wall for balance.
- Keep your legs straight while pointing your toes downward. After a few seconds, lift them up as far as you can.
- Repeat the exercise a couple of times for 30 seconds. You will notice the difference only when you exercise rapidly with full extension.
- Bend your knees at a 45-degree angle after 30 seconds. Again, do the exercise for 30 seconds for one complete set without pausing.
- Rest for a minute and again repeat a set.
- Each day, you can repeat the sets two-three times while taking a rest.
While performing stair stepper exercises with shin splints, don’t slouch; stay upright. Remember to keep track of your progress and rest in between exercises.
Do Stair Stepper Makes Shin Splints Better or Worse
A stair stepper is considered safe during shin splints because it helps improve painful conditions. But repetitive motion without resting can worsen the condition.
In fact, keeping your body in a fixed position for a long time can strain your muscles and joints. You can decrease the risk of worsening the condition by using the best-quality running insoles.
In addition, you can switch modes to stop having the same repetitive routine. While recovering from shin splints, you can participate in strength training and develop supportive muscles surrounding the joints.
If you want to use a stair stepper with a shin splint but don’t want to increase the pain, here’s what you can do:
- Wrapping: Before performing the stair stepper exercise, wrap the affected area with a bandage. Wrap from above the ankle to just below the knee for better results. Wrap the area each time you wish to perform the exercise to absorb the stress. Although the pain will decrease, it won’t instantly go away.
- Cross-training: You can consider cross-training until your shin splint does not heal. You can perform exercises that don’t stress your lower leg, like biking or swimming.
- RICE: RICE means rest, ice, compression, and elevation. It can help you deal with shin splint pain. Take as much rest as possible, regularly ice the affected area to reduce swelling, compress (wrap) the affected area, and elevate.
- Anti-inflammatories: Consult your doctor to get anti-inflammatories to reduce the shin splint pain. You can also use natural anti-inflammatories like turmeric.
Yes, you can use a stair stepper with a shin splint. That’s because the low-intensity workout with this exercise equipment does not put much pressure on the shin.
The stair stepper is a fantastic workout option but before you perform this exercise, consider the pros and cons. Depending on your fitness level and injury, you can go ahead.
An ex-triathlete, fitness coach and writer with a Masters in Sports Physiology. Fitness is my passion and I've had my fair share of home fitness equipment tried and tested!