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  • Shin Splints

    Have any of you ever experienced SHIN SPLINTS? If so, how do you take care of them?! My legs feel as though they are splintering like dried out wood! lol

  • #2
    REST

    I stress fractured both shins in college by overtraining (soccer, goalkeeper jumping). I had very strong calves but the off-setting muscle on the front could not support it. The trainer had me do all sorts of exercises, whirlpool ice baths, ice cups, and stretching. In the end, I just had to take 3-4 months off impact exercise.

    Hopefully you're in the beginning stages and 1-2 weeks will do the trick. But don't go right back to what you were doing either. You might need to back off whatever impact exercising caused the problem and slowly build back up.

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    • #3
      Ice and rest. I got shin splints a couple times throughout high school XC and spent many months watching my pals up and run for practice while I sat on the dreaded exercise bikes.

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      • #4
        Don't run.

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        • #5
          Heat not ice. Massage. Gentle movement.
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          • #6
            Are these true shin splints as the bone itself or is it the muscle of the shin, tibialis anterior that is causing the pain?

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            • #7
              Originally posted by teach2183 View Post
              REST

              I stress fractured both shins in college by overtraining (soccer, goalkeeper jumping). I had very strong calves but the off-setting muscle on the front could not support it. The trainer had me do all sorts of exercises, whirlpool ice baths, ice cups, and stretching. In the end, I just had to take 3-4 months off impact exercise.

              Hopefully you're in the beginning stages and 1-2 weeks will do the trick. But don't go right back to what you were doing either. You might need to back off whatever impact exercising caused the problem and slowly build back up.
              Overuse is definitely part of it, but they're caused by an imbalance in the muscles. Calves are stronger then the Tibialis and other supporting muscles.
              Yes, I'm a real person.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by GiGiEats View Post
                Have any of you ever experienced SHIN SPLINTS? If so, how do you take care of them?! My legs feel as though they are splintering like dried out wood! lol
                GiGi, do you land on your heels when you run? If so, you may want to consider changing your form to a forefoot strike. Not sure if you're familiar with this or not, but just try running on a paved surface completely barefoot. Notice that when you're barefoot you never land on your heels, you land more on the ball of your foot. Try to learn to run like this all the time.

                As far as I know, shin splints only happen to heel-strikers. They are caused by the eccentric contraction of the tibialis anterior (shin muscle) as it works against the plantar-flexion of the foot immediately following a heel strike. Without this action of the TA muscle, the sole of the foot would slap against the ground with each step. Unfortunately, eccentric contractions, especially very forceful ones, do a good job of creating micro trauma -- which we call "shin splints" in this case.

                Another way to avoid shin splints though, if you prefer to heel-strike, is to just ease into running and build your mileage slowly. Shin splints are more likely when you do too much too soon.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by ciep View Post
                  As far as I know, shin splints only happen to heel-strikers.
                  FYI, this wasn't true for me. I changed to a forefoot strike, and was super excited because it felt so great...and unfortunately, I overdid it. Way, way, way overdid it. And that led to a shin splint. I had to rest for two weeks -- no more walking, let alone jogging, so it was back to the exercise bike for me for those weeks. But again, for me it was caused by overdoing it -- too much, too fast, for too long a time.
                  F, 44 years old, 111.8 lbs, 4 feet 11.5 inches (yes, that half inch matters!)

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                  • #10
                    Interesting, usually if someone gets pain from a forefoot strike it's in the back of the leg (calf or Achilles' tendon). I wonder what caused you to get shin splints. Everyone is different I suppose!

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                    • #11
                      You might need to back off whatever impact exercising caused the problem and slowly build back up.

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                      • #12
                        Shin splints can be caused by a few different things one being the length of the gastrocnemius vs soleus. If one muscle is stretched more than the other this causes and imbalance that can cause shin splints. When you stretch make sure to do both a straight and bent knee stretch.

                        Also since you already are feeling the symptoms I would suggest getting a laccross ball or something similar and doing this. Take the ball on the outside edge of your tibia and press the ball into the muscle then roll the ball out to the outside of your shin. Start at the top of your shin and work all the way down to the ankle doing this movement.

                        For the inside of the tibia use a little oil and press your thumb into the muscle then slide down the edge of the tibia to the ankle then work back up to the top. If you can stand it rock the pad of your thumb back and forth working from top to bottom and back up again.

                        I'm going to tell you, this sucks. It is not pleasant by any means but it does work. After you have done your self massage drink lots of water to keep the muscles from adhering to each other again and continue to do both the straight knee and bent knee stretch.

                        Repeat this every couple days until the shin splints go away.
                        Last edited by Iron Will; 08-02-2013, 01:43 PM. Reason: Crappy IPhone spell check

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                        • #13
                          The toe resistance band flexes helped me. It's exercise 2 here: Best Shin Exercises to Prevent Shin Splints and Injuries, Improve Runs and More. : AskTheTrainer.com

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by ciep View Post
                            As far as I know, shin splints only happen to heel-strikers.
                            That's what I was figuring too. Maybe Gigi would benefit from doing some alternating foot jump rope work? It is more impactful than walking but less so than running, from my experience. Also good for posture maintenance. It is definitely not a full substitute for running but may help her transition to a mid/forefoot type strike if she doesn't already land that way while running. Maybe it would also ease the shin splits, too.

                            These days, I do 5 minutes of ropework prior to any running activity and it serves as both a pre-warmup session and also a good indicator of how the main running session is likely to go. Once in a while I will even suspend a running session outright because of how I felt while doing the ropework (missing the rope a lot, general fatigue, etc.) that might not have been evident beforehand.

                            Worth consideration anyway...

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                            • #15
                              I used to get them like crazy when I played football. Eventually, new insoles, ibuprofen, and running more on the ball of my foot got me past them. Eventually got away from needing ibuprofen. Ice was marginally effective.

                              Every one is different tho, so just keep trying things and eventually they'll settle down.

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