Shin Splints

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    Dec 28, 2009 9:43 PM GMT
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    Aside from not running, is there any other effective treatment to lessen the pain caused by shin splints? I've started to run every other day, purchased new Asics, apply ice at least three times daily, and use a shin splint wrap; yet the pain continues. Any suggestions?


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    Dec 28, 2009 9:49 PM GMT
    NSAIDS *might* help, but you should really not be running until they're feeling better. And when you are feeling better, get someone to check out your gait, if there's a problem with technique fixing that is the best long-term solution.
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    Dec 28, 2009 11:28 PM GMT
    Stop running NOW.

    If you must keep moving, take nice calm walks unless if that hurts too.

    I kept running and got some pretty ugly bleeding under my skin on my shins and that stuff stains and takes forever to go away.

    What you have is tissue trauma you gotta treat it as such. Let IT HEAL!

    Once I backed off and stopped running it healed completely within 6 months. now I can run all I want and no problems.

    But beyond healing you gotta focus on why this happened. Is it the surface you're running on, the angle, the shoes or perhaps a muscle imbalance??? or worse bad form? -- harder to fix.

    Go to a professional runner store and let them have you run on a treadmill and observe any angle or muscle balance issues. Some of these stores will even take stock shoes and customize them for your feet.

    A lot of guys overdevelop their calves and completely forget to develop the stabilizing muscles in the shins.

    Also some people naturally have heavy gaits where the balls of their feet hit the ground too hard causing a whiplash to travel up their shins tearing up the stabilizing muscles.

    For me what fixed it was watching a documentary on runners in Austin TX, and seeing how they train their feet, their ankles, and lower legs to absorb impact the right way. I started doing p90x plyometrics a few months back once every week and THAT also helps you learn how to land on your feet and absorb shock the right way.

    BUT..... NOW.... RIGHT NOW......

    IN THE SHORT RUN... REST YOUR SHINs... there will be many more years to run....... DO IT!
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    Dec 28, 2009 11:57 PM GMT
    "Shin splints" are the rite of passage for beginner runners. There's no cure. Just work through the pain and your body will adjust. However, I would recommend the following..

    - Make sure you have the right shoes for your particular feet.
    - Keep your runs short for the time being. Don't over do the mileage.
    - Run every other day. Allow your body/legs to recover.
    - Focus on your running form. (Very important).
    - Try running on asphalt instead of concrete sidewalks.
    - Try running on dirt trails, if possible.
    - Do calf and ankle exercises that improve the flexibility and strength of your lower legs. Like muscletroy said, an imbalance of muscle strength is usually the reason for shin splints. Try doing "toe points".

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    Feb 06, 2010 5:37 AM GMT
    Stretch them. Most athletic trainers suggest writing the alphabet with ones foot. I tend to stretch my clients in other ways but they see a lot of improvement with daily stretching of the area.
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    Feb 06, 2010 5:42 AM GMT
    STRETCH YOUR HAMSTRINGS

    and run HEEL to TOE!


    Prior military and we ran all the time (for the dumbest reasons/distances). Everyone always got shin splints, and this was how it was fixed.

    When I say to stretch your hammies, I mean REALLY stretch every single day, at least 3 times a day for 15mins max. It'll help.
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    Feb 06, 2010 6:08 AM GMT
    Well... assuming that you're in competitive shape and don't have the luxury of taking a couple weeks off, there are a couple things I do to lessen the pain and prevent further injury.

    -Make sure that you have shoes that are broken-in but not broken-down and they should fit your feet (foot pad and arch). Orthotics help too.
    -If you have access to a running specialist, you may have them watch you run to see if you are an over/underpronator.
    - Icing is crazy important. Buy dixie cups, fill em with water, freeze em and rub them on your shins. That way it works out knots and reduces inflammation at the same time.
    -Strengthening your shins is arguable the most important part of getting rid of shin splints. toe walks, heel walks etc.
    -If none of those work, you may have something else going on like plantar fascitis... not fun.

    Good luck! keep on truckin'!
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    Feb 09, 2010 6:10 AM GMT
    i had shin splints the first year i ran , about a decade ago.
    I never stopped but i certainly reassessed my way of running. Simply put, i experimented while running till i found a way to do it without pain in my shins.
    The top trick for me was to vigorously massage the front of my lower legs up and down prior to running, as well as ankle exercises ( twisting them in any angle possible ). I also stretched a lot, went running on trails mostly, and not landing ever on the tip of my fee as i felt it was stressing my shins terribly.
    After about 6-8 months, i was fine.
    It never came back.

    Understand that this was my personal experience and method to deal with it. I have no professional pretense and would rather advise you to approach a coach from a local running team/club.


    Good shoes are vital of course. I ended up with a fibula stress fracture in 2003
    from neglecting to renew my shoes. I was not getting enough support and tried counterbalancing by running on the outside of the foot.. most stupid mistake ever. 4 months without running, fortunately the doctor told me i could still bike.
    so, that saved me. icon_eek.gif
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    Feb 09, 2010 6:37 AM GMT
    I used to get shin splints all the time, and for some people it isn't merely a matter of toughing it out. And I don't mean to be combative, but striking "heel to toe" is not good advice. That's how so many runners end up with knees that don't bend, and hip problems, and lower back issues, and on and on. That's the current issue with running shoes - the huge, and it seems every-increasing, amount of padding on the heel of the shoe makes you more prone to strike that area first. This of course sends a shock all the way up your leg, through the hip, into your back. You're supposed to absorb the majority of that impact with your leg muscles, using the arch structures in your feet. Running shoes 'support' your arch, pad your heel, and so on until you're running in platform shoes, which clearly makes all the sense in the world. icon_rolleyes.gif

    I would suggest getting a pair of Vibram's Five Fingers. They'll strengthen your legs immensely, and after a bit of getting used to them I can't imagine running in regular shoes again for distance. I still do my ten minute warm up runs in regular shoes because I'm too embarassed to wear them on the treadmill though.
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    Feb 10, 2010 11:11 PM GMT
    Tony Horton made mention of shin splints in his way... I think he said "ooh boy do they hurt" cuz you know.. it's Tony Horton.
  • Puppy80

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    Mar 17, 2010 10:27 PM GMT
    I wonder if this is my problem too. I've started going back to the gym, and I feel a pain in my shins. I'll run for short 2 minute bursts at about 5 mph. I'll gt a bad pain in my shins, and eventually near the end, my feet will start to go numb like they fell asleep. Once I slow back down to a walk, the feeling returns, but I will have the dull ache after the workout.

    Any thoughts or advice ?icon_cry.gif
  • jlly_rnchr

    Posts: 1759

    Apr 15, 2010 11:49 AM GMT
    I stopped running for like 3 months, but I was able to do the elliptical during that time without further hurting my leg.

    Also, I got an Under Armour Undeniable Shin Sleeve, which kept my lower leg nice and tight, I think that really helped.

    I had it in Nov '09, wasn't fully recovered until Feb or March, I just started running often again.
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    May 14, 2010 5:29 PM GMT
    I got shin splints occasionally in gymnastics. I would get them mainly from overtraining on vault. When you're doing all sorts of drills running and hitting the springboard over and over again, it really takes a pounding on your shins especially since gymnastics is a sport where you're barefoot!

    I managed to ease the pain through extensive icing and a bit of massage. I would also lay off practicing vault for a couple days.
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    May 14, 2010 5:39 PM GMT
    Do exercises that work your shins:

    Lay a towel flat on the floor, stand on one end, and use only your toes to pull the towel towards you.

    A trick I learned in track.
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    May 14, 2010 5:40 PM GMT
    (Shin splints are caused when your calves are more developed than the front muscles. Or so I was told by my HS sports trainer)
  • aznmtl

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    May 14, 2010 5:57 PM GMT
    I used to get really bad shin splints from playing tennis until I put orthotics in my shoes. The adjustable Dr. Scholl's seemed to do the trick for me as did trying the sport gel insoles. Hope this works for you...
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    May 14, 2010 6:32 PM GMT
    I work with my school's head athletic trainer, so i see a lot of athletes come in with shin splints. Of course you want to stretch your hamstrings out and calves and make sure you are doing proper form.

    Flyinhigh saidBuy dixie cups, fill em with water, freeze em and rub them on your shins. That way it works out knots and reduces inflammation at the same time.


    this. we have a refrigerator in our room full of cups of frozen water ready. do this so after you're done, you just pull one out and are ready to ice.
    also, get someone willing to give you a quick 5 min massage. I've given many athletes massages, and I'll tell you it will hurt, but it help work out the knots and you'll feel better. Shin splints can take a while to heal, so be patient.