T Nation

shin/lower leg pain...

I am currently using CT’s interval running program (not 400m or IBUR) twice a week in conjuction with a westside program. A little into the running and afterwards my shins start to really hurt and feel kinda like they are gonna burst! Could this be my shoes? Not stretching calves enough before running?

my doc said to try running on a very slight decline. you could try stretching and icing more after you run. check your shoes, make sure they’re decent and maybe run on something softer, pavement vs. concrete, or even dirt or grass if it’s possible. hard to sprint on grass though…

Shin splints. I get chronic shin splints. The only thing that has kept them away, as much as they could be kept away, are Nike SHOX. You can do the usual ice/rest blah blah blah but that doesnt always work and it looks like you want to continue to run without a break. Ive done the rest. i rested them for 1/2 year with therapy and strenthening the associated muscles only to have them come back within the 2 weeks. If you’re running on hard ground, running on grass or a softer surface may also help.

Ahh good ole shinsplints! I used to run 14 miles 3 times a week… the thing that I found that helped the most with the splints was my running shoes…I switched to New Balances and have run in them for years with minimal problems…I think it has to do with the arches in them…
Unlike others I found that running on soft surfaces caused them more regularly than asphalt or concrete…I guess it’s just an individual thing…see what works for you…
oh yeah and the more you run they will get less frequent!

For some people, starting interval training without having previously run a lot can lead to a slight case of shin splints or inflammation in the lower leg muscles, tendons and ligaments, that mimics the pain of shin splints.
Just a few suggestions:

  1. Back off a bit on the running, no need to injure yourself and set your training back, if need be hit an exercise bike
  2. Get your shoes checked out at a knowledgeable running store, make sure they are what you need and that they are no older than 6 months old (if you have put them through a lot). Bad shoes can wreck your ankles, knees and legs. Get new ones if need be.
  3. Due some interval work on the bike for while you build up your ‘running legs’. Do some slow distance for awhile so your leg muscles, tendons and ligaments get used to it. radually increase the distance and speed.
  4. Try grass runs for a bit, just to cushion the blow, avoid downhills for a little bit, slight inclines are alright as you get used to the new work.
  5. STRETCH!!! Do a light jog, stretch, do your workout, cooldown, stretch
  6. Cryotherapy baby! After almost every hard run, sled workout or rugby practice I do this. All you need is Dixie cups and frozen water. Peel the cup away to expose the ice frozen in the cup and massage the shins, etc in a circular motion with the ice. This works wonders.

If this does not help and the pain persists, check with your Doc. Untreated shin splits can be a precursor to a stress fracture.

Good luck and good running.

S

It could be a thousand things, the most serious of which is exertional compartment syndrome. Do a ton of stretching for all the muscles of the lower leg. If that isn’t helpful, you might also consider getting your ankles and feet checked for the presence of subtalar dysfunction (e.g. forefoot varus, rearfoot varus, forefoot valgus, or equinus). Also, remember the old adage of “too much, too soon.” You have to ease into these things.

Good luck!

EC,
What are the conditions you mentioned?

EC was right on, it can be a variety of lower leg problems. “Shin Splints” is just a catch all term for pain in the front portion of the lower leg. General rule of thumb is to strengthen those muscles that are long and weak. The muscle of your lower leg compartments fall into this catagory. Four way ankle resistance exercises with tubing or manual resistance is a good start. Focus on dorsi flexion (moving foot toward your shin) more than plantar flexion (calf raises). This may sound weired, but skipping backwards is very effective in strengthening and stretching the muscles of the anterior compartment…give it a try. Also, as EC mentioned foot mechanics and anatomy may also be the cluprit. Look at the condition of your shoes and your arch supports. Do you have a history of high or low arches?

Boss14,

They’re subtalar dysfunctions; it would take me all day to cover all four and their compensations, and I’d probably confuse a lot of forumites in the process!

I ran cross-country for a while. (I know your pain) I tried lots of different shoes and things like that. The thing that helped the most (advice from a teammate) was to wear a 2nd pair of socks. I guess it had to do with cushioning and ankle stability.