T Nation

Shin Splints

Hey guys, I have a question;

I’ve been running (sprinting mainly) for the past 6 months, and have struggled with shin splints for the last two months. I have dramatically cut down on the on the amount of running I do, but I still get some pain from time to time.

My buddy told me shin splints usually occur when your calf muscles are unproportionally stronger than your tibialis anterior (shin muscles). Is this right? Should I stop doing calf raises?

I don’t have much pain in the front of my leg, it mainly runs up the side of my inner ankles, and stops about 5 inches from my knee.

About a month and a half ago, I started incorporating some ankle and shin exercises, but that haven’t really helped too much.

What do you guys recommend I do?

Do reverse calf raises, aka toe raies, aka tibialis anterior exercises. Also make sure to stretch out your shins, this on personally has helped me when it’s hurting,

http://images.google.ca/imgres?imgurl=http://www.exrx.net/StretchImages/TibialisAnterior/KneelingShin.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.exrx.net/Stretches/TibialisAnterior/Kneeling.html&usg=__zMKn0XGCiRkJ5vAKytvsfMcA8rs=&h=240&w=320&sz=10&hl=en&start=9&tbnid=QSuhfXdrS2XdWM:&tbnh=89&tbnw=118&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dshin%2Bstretch%26gbv%3D2%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DG

Make sure you got proper shoes with efficient padding at the heel as well. I wouldn’t say to stop exercising your calves, just make sure you stretch them a lot.

search for it cause I know I’ve covered it in a few posts.

A few certain exercises…rest…ibuprofen…ice…tape.

My only ‘cures’ that have worked for me.

Try the search and you should get your answer.

DG

[quote]PF_88 wrote:
Do reverse calf raises, aka toe raies, aka tibialis anterior exercises. Also make sure to stretch out your shins, this on personally has helped me when it’s hurting,

http://images.google.ca/imgres?imgurl=http://www.exrx.net/StretchImages/TibialisAnterior/KneelingShin.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.exrx.net/Stretches/TibialisAnterior/Kneeling.html&usg=__zMKn0XGCiRkJ5vAKytvsfMcA8rs=&h=240&w=320&sz=10&hl=en&start=9&tbnid=QSuhfXdrS2XdWM:&tbnh=89&tbnw=118&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dshin%2Bstretch%26gbv%3D2%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DG

Make sure you got proper shoes with efficient padding at the heel as well. I wouldn’t say to stop exercising your calves, just make sure you stretch them a lot.[/quote]

How could you do these toe raises? I’ve tried doing them with a plate on my toe but it’s just really awkward and I have to focus more on on keeping the thing balanced than actually doing the exercise.

you know what worked for me? i stopped doing things that hurt my shins like jump roping or running.

try biking instead. running isnt the only way to get cardio.

The problem can also be caused by doing too much work on your toes. Unless you have specific instructions for training, try running more flat footed so that your feed hit the ground perfectly evenly, rather than on your toes. Obviously, though, if you are sprinting for athletic compititions you should continue to run on your toes when you wear spikes.

[quote]LiveFromThe781 wrote:
you know what worked for me? i stopped doing things that hurt my shins like jump roping or running.

try biking instead. running isnt the only way to get cardio.[/quote]

“Doctor, my arm hurts when I do this.”

‘Then stop doing it.’

[quote]Artem wrote:
PF_88 wrote:
Do reverse calf raises, aka toe raies, aka tibialis anterior exercises. Also make sure to stretch out your shins, this on personally has helped me when it’s hurting,

http://images.google.ca/imgres?imgurl=http://www.exrx.net/StretchImages/TibialisAnterior/KneelingShin.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.exrx.net/Stretches/TibialisAnterior/Kneeling.html&usg=__zMKn0XGCiRkJ5vAKytvsfMcA8rs=&h=240&w=320&sz=10&hl=en&start=9&tbnid=QSuhfXdrS2XdWM:&tbnh=89&tbnw=118&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dshin%2Bstretch%26gbv%3D2%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DG

Make sure you got proper shoes with efficient padding at the heel as well. I wouldn’t say to stop exercising your calves, just make sure you stretch them a lot.

How could you do these toe raises? I’ve tried doing them with a plate on my toe but it’s just really awkward and I have to focus more on on keeping the thing balanced than actually doing the exercise.

[/quote]

Heh well actually I don’t use traditional weights to do this. Our decline situp apparatus, the one end comes just off the floor, enough for me to slide my toe underneath. I elevate my heal and do one leg at a time, no idea how much weight I am using but I can feel it and my shin splints are more or less gone.

I was also one of the guys who had to keep running regardless, otherwise I don’t graduate college (Police Foundations).

Hey,

I’m also having problems with shin splints at the moment, and I’ve completely stopped doing the exercises that hurt (mainly rugby).

I was wondering - is it a good idea to continue with leg weights (squats, deadlifts etc) in the gym during my time off, or will this just aggravate my injury?

I have never had shin splints aggravated as long as I stay far back on my heels.

Start wearing Vibram Five fingers and Vivo Barefoot shoes.

First off -

Are you running indoors (treadmill) or outdoors (track, concrete, asphalt, etc)? Surfaces play a big role on the impact on your feet/body

Getting the strength of your tibialis up to speed really works - all the prehab - post hab treatments for a sprained ankle also work - rolling a tennis ball under your feet for fascial stretching, ankle rotations, crumpling newspaper with your toes then whole foot - all work to stretch & strengthen your feet & calves/tibs. -

In my experience I’ve found that walking/light running on an incline warming up really reduces my incidences of shin splints (btw, are you warming up enough properly?)Running downhill exacerbates shin splints since you are “braking” full bodyweight downhill

As per PF_88’s suggestion I also slide my foot under a dumbbell or plate (25/35 lber) and sit up either high enough or at a deficit & raise & lower the weight to work the tibs… Great way to increase ankle flexibility for squats as well

Lastly, look into Hog Ear’s suggestion about footwear - (I have Vibram 5Fingers myself) another culprit could be your choice of footwear or your biomechanics/footstrike pattern.

Hope you found some of this helpful

[quote]jaybvee wrote:
First off -

Are you running indoors (treadmill) or outdoors (track, concrete, asphalt, etc)? Surfaces play a big role on the impact on your feet/body

Getting the strength of your tibialis up to speed really works - all the prehab - post hab treatments for a sprained ankle also work - rolling a tennis ball under your feet for fascial stretching, ankle rotations, crumpling newspaper with your toes then whole foot - all work to stretch & strengthen your feet & calves/tibs. -

In my experience I’ve found that walking/light running on an incline warming up really reduces my incidences of shin splints (btw, are you warming up enough properly?)Running downhill exacerbates shin splints since you are “braking” full bodyweight downhill

As per PF_88’s suggestion I also slide my foot under a dumbbell or plate (25/35 lber) and sit up either high enough or at a deficit & raise & lower the weight to work the tibs… Great way to increase ankle flexibility for squats as well

Lastly, look into Hog Ear’s suggestion about footwear - (I have Vibram 5Fingers myself) another culprit could be your choice of footwear or your biomechanics/footstrike pattern.

Hope you found some of this helpful
[/quote]

I did find it helpful, thank you very much:)

I’ve been looking into those vibram 5 Finger shoes…I’ve found a shoe store about 30 min from where i live that has them, so I might check them out this weekend.

I’ve stopped sprinting for now, and starting doing single legged calf raises on my stair case, standing barbell calf raises (barefoot), and seated toe raises with a 35 lb plate on the front of my foot.

I’ve mainly been running on pea-gravel or grass, and occasionally the track…no pavement or even black top.

Oh, and I’ve been wearing a set of really good New Balance running shoes with a build in “roll bar” to keep my heels from moving around too much. They also have some good padding too.

Thanks a lot for all the help guys;)

I’ll let you know how it goes.

Anyone who has shin splints needs to read this http://www.terraplana.com/presscentre/latest/vivo-barefoot/you-walk-wrong/

It’ll change the way you think about shoes!

[quote]Hog Ear wrote:
Start wearing Vibram Five fingers and Vivo Barefoot shoes. [/quote]

I agree, but for someone right off the bat (especially if they’re flatfooted and overpronator) it’ll only make the problem worse.

That’s a gradual change that you want to make, and not while you still have shin splints.

Time and staying away from running was really the only thing that helped mine back in the day. Ultrasound therapy helped a little.

I didn’t read through the other posts so I appologize if this has already been stated:

  1. Weighted toe raises.
  2. Warm up and stretch before and after focussing on your calves.
  3. ICE immediately after running for 15 minutes minimum and take an anti-inflammatory such as ibuprofen.
  4. Reduce the impact of sprinting by doing them on a treadmill set to a steep incline.

This has worked with people I have trained in the past with bad shin splints.

[quote]Artem wrote:
PF_88 wrote:
Do reverse calf raises, aka toe raies, aka tibialis anterior exercises. Also make sure to stretch out your shins, this on personally has helped me when it’s hurting,

http://images.google.ca/imgres?imgurl=http://www.exrx.net/StretchImages/TibialisAnterior/KneelingShin.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.exrx.net/Stretches/TibialisAnterior/Kneeling.html&usg=__zMKn0XGCiRkJ5vAKytvsfMcA8rs=&h=240&w=320&sz=10&hl=en&start=9&tbnid=QSuhfXdrS2XdWM:&tbnh=89&tbnw=118&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dshin%2Bstretch%26gbv%3D2%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DG

Make sure you got proper shoes with efficient padding at the heel as well. I wouldn’t say to stop exercising your calves, just make sure you stretch them a lot.

How could you do these toe raises? I’ve tried doing them with a plate on my toe but it’s just really awkward and I have to focus more on on keeping the thing balanced than actually doing the exercise.

[/quote]

You can do shin work like calf work. Just instead of putting the ball of your feet on the apparatus, place the edge of your heel on it. You can do them in a seated calf raise machine, or standing.

With regards to prehab:

I’ve found a use for those weightplates that have cutouts for handles - while working legs I found that if I sit on a high enough bench I can slip the front portion of my foot (wearing socks or really thin shoes) THROUGH the slot in the plate.

Obviously, keep an eye on the plate so it does not slide off & you get injured; doing shin work like this enabled me to do tibialis raises outside of specialized machinery (dorsiflexion & extension) - IMO a really good exercise for your tibs - thus alleviating any shin splint pain by strengthening the tibs.