T Nation

shin splints

I know that this has probably been brought up a million times but does anyone know any tricks or helpful hints to get rid of shin splints. The kind I get are on the medial side of my lower leg and are really annoying. I am a lacrosse player so I have to run, pain or not. I know that the generalized approach is to not run on hard surfaces, change shoes, ice after running but does anyone know anything else I could be doing? thanks

I used to get shin splints all the time. Then I started a stretching exercise that really help prevent them. Start off in the position you stretch your hamstring: one leg straight (the ham you stretch) and other bent, while your torso is bent. The with the straight leg, place your foot flat on the floor and hold. It stretches your shins, and as I said, I noticed it prevented the splints. Hope it helps. ;o)

I ran x country in the fall. I thought I had shin splints because I felt them before in football. In december I had a bone scan, and it revealed stress fractures everywhere(shins,feet ankles-in both legs). This may or may not be the case with you.
I advise going to a doctor and getting an x ray. If the x ray reveals possible stress fractures, then get a bone scan.
I hope you have better luck then me

I had them bad for a year. when I run, I noticed the extreme outside portion of my foot hit before anything else. I got rid of them by taping my feet/ankles to a neutral position, and stretching my calves/hamstrings. When stretching, I put a towel around my foot and turned it out. It took a few days but I have had no problems since. Good luck

As steve said, make sure you dont have stress fractures. Otherwise, rest is best. besides that, stretch a lot. get on a calf board (angled board) and stretch both ways (toes higher than ankles and vice versa). taping the shins themselves help. also, if you are flat footed, which is often a factor in shin splints, get a good pair of arch supports…not the crappy kind by dr. scholls but the good ones. also, i have been told that eating fresh pineapple will help. it might be total bs, but its worth a shot. finally, try to keep your running on the same type of surface. good luck

Couldn’t get rid of mine when I used to compete in T&F until I started strengthening the tibialis (sp?) anterior muscles in the front of the shin. Worked them 4x week with low volume, low reps heavy resistance. That and stretching the calves eventually solved the problem. Back then I made my own resistance device using an old pair of shoes, some rope and 10lb plates. Now there is a device (the DARD) specifically made for this exercise. Ice and ibuprofin helped manage the pain, but did not address the underlying problem. Good luck.

I used to be a semi-pro sprint speedskater (prior to breaking my knee). Anyway, shin splits are quite common in speedskating and many techniques to relieve the are heavily discussed and used. The most commonly used method involves a 2 week layoff, with nothing but VERY LIGHT stretching, followed by 2 weeks of light strength training. For those 2 weeks following, the first week is simply a matter of tapping your foot whenever you think about it. If your at home just tap your foot all the time. The second week involves pullys in the gym. You need the leather cuff on the pully machine, sit down, drop the pully to the ground, hook the leather cuff to your foot, and strength train by pulling the weight towards your body. Full up and down movements.

The theory here, is 2 weeks to allow your muscle to reatach to your shin, then 2 weeks to strengthen that attachment. Then for maintainance either add the shin splint exercises at the gym to your program at twice a week, maybe 5 sets of 40 or so. OR just tap your feet all the time.


I developed terrible shin splints when I started track/x-country year round. I went to a podiatrist who told me that the arch in my feet disappeared when I walked, and was only present when I stood. He perscribed expensive orthotics, but the Dr. Scholl’s Sport heel inserts made a world of difference.

First I would look at how you run. When you run does it sound like a horse? Practice running light and gliding across the surface. How do your feet land?

For some exercises:
Stand with your butt against a wall, move your feet about 12-15 inches away from the wall on your heels with your toes toward the ceiling(off the ground). Lower your feet till your toes touch the ground then reverse the motion. Start out with 2-3x8-10( kinda arbitrary rep scheme ), so adjust accordingly to how you feel, when easy place a weight plate across your toes.
sit on a bench andwith knee at 90 degrees tap your toe slowly one foot at a time. Making sure to go through the full range of motion. all the way up then back down. Again you can add a plate to the top of your toes and lift.

Also if you dont incorporate hills into your running you might throw some in. Hill training helps to correct bad running form. It does this because generally hill training fatigues you so easy. From running them your body will become very efficient because it does not wanting to waste energy. And dont forget RICE and massaging.

Greg Gonzales

never bothered posting to a forum before, but this was a big problem for me for years till i found an easy answer. Before any activity liable to cause me shin splints - in my case rugby and running - I spend 5-10 mins flexing each ankle through its full range of vertical motion.