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TOPIC: Shin splints.... will they go away?

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August 27, 2012 11:15 AM
I have had a problem most of my life with shin splints. It's the thing that I dread when I get back into a activity routine, which I plan to start next week when the kids go back to school. My plan is to start with a 30 minute walk most days of the week, and gradually increase my speed and distance. But even when I start slow, I get shin splints bad. Over the years, I've had various shoes, both off the rack and specially fitted, inexpensive and expensive, but it doesn't seem to make a difference. The only time they don't happen is when I'm walking reeeeaally slow... Like meandering at a festival slow. lol.

Just not sure if shin splits are something that will go away once I build up endurance, or if there is something I can do to make them not happen in the first place?

Any advice recommended.
August 27, 2012 11:17 AM
My husband had them not long after he started running he was told by the doctors he had stress fractures so had to stop running for 8 weeks when he started again the pain came back so now he ices his legs after runs and has a sports massage every fortnight and he's had no problems since
August 27, 2012 11:19 AM
maybe try these exercises.
Only thing to relieve shin splints is rest. You just maybe someone who needs to focus on aerobics, swimming, or biking.
August 27, 2012 12:11 PM
Thanks, that's good info. I will definitely try stretching. Walking is the most convenient exercise for me to do, so I really want to make it work.
August 27, 2012 12:14 PM
First, get some proper shoes fitted at a running store. This helped me immensely.

Second, the stretches are a must. They help at least 50% of the pain.

Third, ice after exercise.

And finally, do rest a bit. You can make them worse if you push it.
August 27, 2012 12:15 PM
learn to run naturally or "barefoot running" there are still shoes you can buy such as vibram fivefingers. this usually causes problems such as shin splints to go away.
August 27, 2012 12:17 PM
My son's karate sensei gave me a good exercise that is his "Cure all" for shin splints. I believe they are called toe ups. Bascially standing, lift with your toes, keep your heels from touching the ground as you repeat the lift. My son does about 30 in his class (he is 8), i think that would be a good starting point. Best of luck!
August 27, 2012 12:19 PM

learn to run naturally or "barefoot running" there are still shoes you can buy such as vibram fivefingers. this usually causes problems such as shin splints to go away.

I agree with that.... I could hardly run with my cross training shoes on which were professionally fitted at a New Balance store using their computer system. I bought a pair of FiveFingers on another runners adivce and have been able to run almost 2 miles since then without any foot or leg pain.
August 27, 2012 12:19 PM
I tried pushing through the pain of shin splints until I couldnt take it anymore. I decided to stop all activity for two weeks to give them a break and then tried to run on week three... Felt good, no pain. Went back 2 days later and tried to run again and OUCH. So I laid off of it for another two weeks. Same thing happened again, last week on Wednesday I ran and felt fine. Tried running on Sunday and here came the pain.
From reading numerous articles on Google it seems that shin splints can take a LONG time to heal, so I am thinking that them recurring is a sign of my legs telling me to only do low impact exercise. grumble
August 27, 2012 12:21 PM
Why continue to do something as high impact as running/walking when it clearly doesn't agree with you?

Chose something else like cycling, swimming,x-trainer or rowing.
August 27, 2012 12:23 PM
So far what everyone has suggested to this point is correct: proper shoes and stretching. Add one more item to this list as it helped me several years ago. I tend to take really long strides and found a few articles at the time that shortening your stride can help alleviate shin splints as well.

I do believe there are some other things associated with problems in pronation (how the foot strikes and rolls), but all the other items are more likely to be what helps the most.
August 27, 2012 12:25 PM
I had this problem, and I posted here and was sent a link to an awesome article. But, I can't find the link anymore. The exercise/stretch that you do is not what I always see others posting (I always see people posting calf raises). I'll try to post it where it makes sense. I do this now, and I am now in week 6 of C25K. Do the following:

Stand on the edge of a step or curb with your heels on the step and your toes off. (I have to hold on to something for balance when I do it). Point your toes all the way down as far as you can and then lift your toes all the way up as far as you can and continue pointing down and up rapidly, but still extending all the way, for 30 seconds. Pause 30 seconds and do it again. Pause 30 seconds and do it again.

The article I was sent to recommended doing 3 sets of these daily. I forget most of the time, but when my shins start reminding me, I do them. And, I usually get IMMEDIATE relief from the pain. Give it a try, it definitely worked for me. Good luck.
August 27, 2012 12:27 PM
One of the most common problems I find is that people "Self-Diagnose" Shin Splints. Shin Splints are actual fractures and need specific rest and treatment. My daughter was in track and they kept telling her she had shin splints. I took her to a specialist and they advised she doesn't have shin splints...the problem was the muscles at the ankle and above to about half way up the shin are weak and very, very difficult to stretch. Sudden use or overuse makes them seize up.

If you have shin splints - you need a doctor.

If it is muscular, you need to massage them even though it hurts and stretch them. They guy above who said about the "toe-ups" - these are what her specialist ordered. If you don't stretch, it won't go away no matter how much rest and ice you use. And it has nothing to do with weight. If you haven't been using them, the muscles are weak regardless of your size and they freak out when you try to jump back into exercise.
August 27, 2012 12:27 PM
I have corrected my stride which fixed my shin splints. Please visit your nearest running shoe store and have them assess your gait and fit you properly for shoes.

An alternative to the move that bgorum posted is to walk on your heels with your toes in the air for about 10 mins a day. Sure you look funny but it helps a lot.
August 27, 2012 12:30 PM
Whenever I had shin splints, it was from not stretching right after running. I'm sure there are other reasons, but stretching better helped reduce them greatly for me.
August 27, 2012 12:31 PM

Why continue to do something as high impact as running/walking when it clearly doesn't agree with you?

Chose something else like cycling, swimming,x-trainer or rowing.

For me personally it's because I have developed a new love for running and I 'm not ready to give it up. I started out on the elliptical and lost a lot of my weight there, but it eventually got old. I downloaded the C25K app and finally worked myself up to running a mile straight, so now I find it hard to stop. I love the burn I get from running.
August 27, 2012 4:59 PM
It's great to have this collection of tips and recommendations from all of you. One thing that jumped out at me in was the point about the strides... I wonder if I'm taking longer strides when I try to do deliberate exercise vs. just walking to get somewhere? I know of a great running store not too far from here, so I will ask their advice as well. In the meantime, I'll take it easy to start and do lots o' stretches.

Thanks all! I have some info in my arsenal and now I'm not afraid to start again. I appreciate the help!


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