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    GiGiEats's Avatar
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    Shin Splints

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    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

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    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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    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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    Don't run.

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    Heat not ice. Massage. Gentle movement.
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    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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    Quote 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.

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    ciep's Avatar
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    Quote 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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    Quote 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.
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    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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