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Shin Splints- any advice or success?

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by eddododo, Feb 5, 2014.

  1. eddododo


    Apr 7, 2010
    A little pertinent background
    I am just shy of 25, 5'6 and a whopping 175 lbs (!) (most guys my height are 120-150)
    I am athletically inclined, martial arts, soccer, rugby, and backyard anything.
    I am not active in much these days, except for regular soccer pick-up games (just started that again about a month ago).
    I have weighed this much, and more, before, but never with as much useless weight (fat) and so little muscle. When I have been in great shape and strong, it was a result of being active and lucky, not of diligent training or discipline-
    So I believe that the weakish and heavy condition I am in, with all of the supporting muscles unconditioned, is the main contributor of my shin splints, because I am a fast powerful runner and I stutter-stop and cut hard ALOT, which is hard on legs I imagine, without the added weight.
    They happened about a year ago, and nagged FOREVER. I got out of shape again, worse, and now theyre back now that I am active.

    Any suggestions, or experience in getting these under control while maintaining some kind of fitness? Building my legs back is pretty crucial to me, and I am having trouble getting them going if I cant run, let alone run hard.

  2. Mktrat

    Mktrat Seriously, are we not doing phrasing anymore? Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2013
    The Mitten
    Ice after
    Stretch before

    Duh right?

    Seriously though, something I did when I used to have this problem was when I was sitting in class or watching tv I would raise my toes as far up (towards the knee) as I could, and then point my toes. Just a slow somewhat exaggerated movement. Helped ALOT!

    YMMV IMHO and others....
  3. You need to give them time to heal first and foremost.

    Have you had your feet checked? I was getting shin splints due to hyperpronation, insoles helped me a lot.
  4. SoVeryTired

    SoVeryTired Endorsing nothing, recommending much

    Jul 2, 2011
    Milton Keynes, UK
    When I had shin splints from increasing my running distance too quickly, I did more cycling (and ended up doing a sprint triathlon), whilst doing various leg exercises and stretching. One exercise I found particularly good: stand with your back and heels against the wall, feet shoulder-width apart and facing forward. Raise your toes and feet up as far as you can (both feet at once) so that your weight is on your heels. You should feel the stretch along the front of your legs. Do this quickly 50 times and repeat daily.
  5. kohntarkosz

    kohntarkosz Banned

    Oct 29, 2013
    Edinburgh - Scotland
    I used to go running in a battered pair of Converse Allstars. The shin pains I experienced were odd, and intense. I would have a tender spot halfway down my lower leg that, when touched, felt similar to the funny-bone in my arm. In general my legs hurt a lot after I ran (~5k or so), especially if I had to run for another reason (late bus, or similar) within a 24 hour period after my run.

    The fix was to buy some proper running shoes and to take it easy for a while. I ignored any lower body work in the gym in favour of arms and core exercises. I've addressed this issue, in part, because I wound up with lumbar lordosis. Gradually I've brought squats and deadlifts back into my routine, along with leg presses and similar work. I no longer have shin splints... I'm not suggesting there is a link however.
  6. Shin splints can be caused by a few things, running in cons is certainly going to be one of them :p .

    On saying that, squats fix all :bag:
  7. eddododo


    Apr 7, 2010
    ha.. im a squat animal. Ive cleared over 400 at periods in my life

    I do have back issues, and im certain I overpronate.
    I guess I need to stop procrastinating and get some doctor/chiropractor time
  8. Bass_Thumper


    Oct 20, 2009
    Madison, MS
    I've been a pretty avid runner for about 20 years now and a few years ago, I got a case of shin splints that were due to another running injury that I had. I basically didn't let the first injury heal and it altered my gate enough that I got shin splints. I ran with the pain mostly and went to a couple of sports medicine docs and they really couldn't help me. I tried all kinds of different shoes and the pain was still there.

    I finally had to let it rest and heal to the point where it was just about gone. At that point, I bought myself a pair of Five Fingers and started doing barefoot running. Within the first mile, my shin splints where gone and I have not had them again.

    If you do decide that you're going to try running barefoot, remember a couple of things:

    1. your form is going to be very different because conventional running shoes teach you to run in a way that is not natural for your body. You will not be a heel striker while barefoot because that is not natural and you body will not naturally do it. If you force it, you will be in a lot of pain.
    2. your initial pace and distance will not be as fast or as long as you usually do in conventional shoes. You're learning how to get back to your natural form and this takes time because we've been wearing conventional shoes for a long time.
    3. running barefoot actually takes the stress off of your lower legs and knees and put it on your hips which are designed to handle it.

    Now, all that being said, I find most people that I talk to that hate barefoot running is because they think that they can run the same barefoot as they do in conventional shoes. That just will not work and it takes time to get back to the same distance/speed that you may have been used to. I know that runners in general, myself included, don't like to do anything that's going to no let them get the miles or hit certain markers they have set for themselves but sometimes you have to make some changes to see if they are going to work for you. I now run in conventional shoes again because I like the cushion but I still run as if I were barefoot. I used barefoot running as a tool to make my form more efficient and it has helped me run injury free.

    Once your shins are feeling better, try it on the local football field just to see how it's going to feel. Just do it relaxed and let your body run the way that it wants to run, don't force it.
  9. A lot of people now (including, I think, the US Triathlon Federation) are advocating mid-foot strike running, where you land with your foot flat and then push off, instead of landing on your heel and then slapping your toe down. Search for "chi running" or "pose method running" and you'll find some more information. It worked for me - I couldn't run at all because of shin splints; now I can't run because I'm lazy :)
  10. Bass_Thumper


    Oct 20, 2009
    Madison, MS
    +1 Chi Running is a great book that I learned a lot from. It will certainly move you back into a more natural form.
  11. craigb

    craigb G&L churnmeister Supporting Member

    I used to get 'em when I played a lot of ultimate due to the poor cushioning in the turf shoes/cleats I was wearing (when the fields finally dried out in the summer in Oregon). Some sorbothane insoles (shock absorbing gel) fixed it for me. So if your soccer shoes don't have enough cushioning that might help. If it's from running I got nothing for you, I don't do that as a standalone activity :)
  12. jamminology101


    Aug 22, 2012
    Indianapolis In
    Endorsing Artist: Glockenklang
    I had shin splints from the time I ran jr track to present day. All of the above mentioned ideas are great and in addition to those get those compression appendage sleeves that are currently the rage in professional sports. They make them for every appendage and body part imaginable and they really work. This will keep the tiny cracks in the fascia and the bone from getting worse/forming which end up tearing away from your shin and causing the pain. I used to have to shave my legs and basically tape my calfs to my shin when I ran track and this basically takes the place of all that hassle/discomfort. Happy running. I am no doctor but if this condition persists no matter what measures you take, you should consider cycling or some other form of lower impact cardio/leg training because I know a guy who has it in his advanced age and it is very debilitating for even simple measures such as walking.
  13. kohntarkosz

    kohntarkosz Banned

    Oct 29, 2013
    Edinburgh - Scotland
    I have massive 'poor form' anxiety... I was also advised to stay off the squats whilst the lordosis persisted. Whilst a saddle back looks oldschool tough, it is actually symptomatic of a weak lower back. Sure enough squats hurt my back in ways they didn't seem to hurt anybody else...
  14. Bob Lee (QSC)

    Bob Lee (QSC) In case you missed it, I work for QSC Audio! Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 3, 2001
    Costa Mesa, Calif.
    Technical Communications Developer, QSC Audio
    I've gotten shin splints playing soccer on rough, uneven pitches that had ruts, patchy grass, and other hazards that forced me to run more on my heels than my toes.

    Playing on better quality pitches allows me to stay up on my toes, which is not only a faster way to run but also less likely to result in shin splints. Running on your toes makes you lean farther forward, increases the effective length of your legs, and lets your knees and ankles act more springlike, which absorbs shock better and gives you a little extra to push off of.
  15. JennySuzuki


    Dec 18, 2013
    Increase your potassium intake to cut down on lactic acid build up.
  16. eddododo


    Apr 7, 2010
    Not so much a problem
  17. msact


    Jan 8, 2013
    Somewhere in NJ
    I used to run when I was younger, but it started getting too hard on my body. I started doing elliptical several years ago instead and invested in a high quality machine that would hold up under daily use. My body has been thanking me ever since.
  18. will33


    May 22, 2006
    I used to get shin slints from time to time while I was in the Army, from all the running we did everyday. They always started coming on about the same time my running shoes started to get old/worn out. The answer was new, quality, running shoes......splints gone.
  19. jamminology101


    Aug 22, 2012
    Indianapolis In
    Endorsing Artist: Glockenklang
    Im having a hard time correlating lactic acid with shin splints....