Shin Splints!! Oww!

  • torontoguy222...

    Posts: 410

    Apr 19, 2009 1:58 PM GMT
    Those bastards!! It seems that almost every time I run I get shin splints, especially on my right leg. I just bought new running shoes from a running shoe store, so I assumed that problem would disappear. But alas, after less than 10 minutes into a warm-up run my shins begin to feel like they're about to explode out of my leg! I usually am forced to stop running because of the shin splints, not because my heart can't take anymore.

    Does anyone have any solutions, tips, or suggestions on preventing/dealing with these? I'm hoping to a run a 5k Pride Run in June, but jeez, if I can't run for 10 minutes without getting shin splints, I'll never survive a 5k.

    Thanks a lot
    Tony
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    Apr 19, 2009 2:38 PM GMT
    I am very happy to say I have never experienced shin splints, but I hear they are very painfull. I have seen many different approaches to their treatment. Rest is one of them, as shin splints are usually caused by a sudden increase in distance or exercise amount. You may not have the right shoes for your foot type, and sometimes that does matter as well.

    Icing can help, and I have seen many elaborate taping techniques, but that is usually just a temprary solution for races. Stretching before and after may help as well.

    However you may want to consult a physiotherapist.
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    Apr 19, 2009 5:21 PM GMT
    Are you sure you bought the right kind of shoes for your feet? If your shoes don't support your feet properly, then there's a good chance you'll feel it in your shins.

    If you can, look for someone like a sports medicine student (considering you're at school) and ask them to have a look at your feet. They can usually tell you if you're flat-footed, over-pronate, etc. Then, you can look for inserts/arch-supports for your shoes which could help the problem (usually, the student can recommend something). If you can't find someone like a sports medicine student, then you could try an orthopedist. They'll make an insert that's molded to the shape of your foot, but the inserts are usually pretty costly (I had them for a couple months when I ran track...and then lost them. Several hundred dollars down the drain).

    Like Scodjoe said, taping can work as well to help support an arch, and a sports medicine student can help you with that too. I had it done so many times for practice that I could eventually do it myself. You just have to be willing to take the time and tape your feet properly - otherwise, it's just a bunch of crap on your foot that does nothing.

    Other than inserts, icing you shins for 15-20 minute periods can help, along with a few painkillers. I ended up taking a few Aleve about an hour before running or playing soccer, and that helped get me through practices for a few years, along with taping.

    Whatever option you choose, definitely have someone knowledgeable in sports medicine or orthopedics take a look at your feet - they'll be able to make suggestions more specific to your situation. And good luck with that 5k!
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    Apr 19, 2009 5:54 PM GMT
    I had them often when I was a professional ballet dancer. Sit in a chair --- heels directly under knees. Lift you toes up while keeping your heels on the ground and tap them really quickly for three minutes. You'll start getting tired and want to quit after first minute. Do this every day... your shin splints will go away in no time.

    Eats lots of papaya too. Strongest natural anti-inflammatory we can eat.
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    Apr 19, 2009 7:48 PM GMT
    Ice, Stretch, and Advil...icon_lol.gif
  • handsoffire

    Posts: 178

    Apr 19, 2009 8:19 PM GMT
    Might pick up some serious stretching before and after you work out. The warmer the tissues the less likely it is to "tear" which is what's causing the discomfort.
  • torontoguy222...

    Posts: 410

    Apr 19, 2009 11:49 PM GMT
    Great advice! I'll definitely try the ballet stretching that Major suggested! I'm willing to give anything a shot.

    As for the shoes, I went to the Running Room, so they are pretty knowledgeable when it comes to fitting you with a pair. The lady was concerned about my foot curving inward, so I was fitted with a stability pair from New Balance. I'm hoping I didn't just waste $130 lol
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    Apr 20, 2009 2:08 AM GMT
    Do calf exercises. Sometimes "shin splints" are caused by an imbalance of muscle strength in your lower legs. Do calf raises, with or without weights. Do toe points* whenever you're sitting at a desk or kicking back on a couch. Do the tapping exercise that Major suggested.

    * Toe points -- just sit in a chair, lift one or both of your feet off the ground, bring your feet forward a little. Then stretch and point your toes. Then bring your toes back and stretch it back. You should feel the muscles in front of your shins tensing/flexing.

    Kinda looks like this. But you don't have to use any weights.

    7cd8449db2663b2bshin.jpg
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    Aug 09, 2009 10:39 AM GMT
    It might be your running form. I had the same problem and it sucks. I went to a running clinic and had my running video taped, it showed I was hunkering down instead of standing tall and i was pulling up my toe when I ran causing strain on the shins . Started paying strict attention to form and shin splint disappeared. I can always tell if my form is slipping I start to feel it in my shins.
  • cbrett

    Posts: 609

    Aug 09, 2009 11:48 AM GMT
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    this is from a older forum good luck i have had shin splints for about the last 10 years even when walking they are bad but since i have got my innersoles (orthodontic however you spell it) they are getting better,i can now run about a km with about being in pain, plus riding a bike has really help too
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    Aug 10, 2009 3:00 AM GMT
    Major saidI had them often when I was a professional ballet dancer. Sit in a chair --- heels directly under knees. Lift you toes up while keeping your heels on the ground and tap them really quickly for three minutes. You'll start getting tired and want to quit after first minute. Do this every day... your shin splints will go away in no time.

    Eats lots of papaya too. Strongest natural anti-inflammatory we can eat.




    shin splints are the symptoms of your anterior tibialis literally tearing itself off the tibia. this imbalance occurs when your anterior tibialis is not strong enough to compensate for the strength and/or shortness of your gastrocnemeus (which is one of the antagonists of the anterior tibilialis, and this imbalance results in reciprocal inhibition - the gastrocs literally prevents the anterior tibilialis from functioning in its full range of motion). what our friend, major, suggests works, because it lengthens your calves while bringing blood flow and a simplified form of interval training to the shins.

    a variation on this exercise: using a theraband to pull your toes up while driving your heel down. utlimately what is important to alleviate shin splints is to lengthen your gastrocnemeus and soleus. it sounds like you haven't been warming up/cooling down/stretching. naughty, naughty!

    be careful of the papaya - papaya contains an enzyme that digests animal proteins (a defense mechanism to try to protect the fruit from insects and animals). if you have ever noticed the skin on the inside of your mouth peeling after eating papaya, it means you are sensitive to this enzyme. rather than lots of papaya, start with a serving to make sure you don't get g.i. problems or sores in your mouth/throat. aspirin, if you can tolerate it, is a natural anti-inflammatory that is calorie free and also improves the flow of your blood. also consider rubbing down with products that contain arnica.
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    Mar 09, 2010 8:54 PM GMT
    It's an old post but I get problems with the anterior tibilialis and have to do some exercises with bands to strengthen. One thing that struck me about the original post was your description of explosive pain which suggests more of a compartment syndrome than a muscle strain. Just a thought.