T Nation

Shin Splints?

Hey coach. I got shin splints after jumping rope excessively. This was about 5 months ago now, and I haven’t jumped since, but I’ve been squatting 3 times per week (Texas Method program).

I know they can take a long time to heal and they seemed to be slowly getting better until last Friday I hit a heavy set of 5 on squats. I squatted Monday and today, and the pain was even worse. The lower part of the patellar tendon is sore to the touch, and the spot it hurts is about 4 inches inferior to the knee and 2 inches medial. I do olympic high bar squats with a raised heel.

1.) Does this sound like shin splints or something else?
2.) What would be the best way to heal it?
3.) Should I stick to the program, switch to squatting just 1 day per week to maintain, or stop squatting altogether? I can deadlift without any problems.

Thank you so much for any advice and information!

@Joyfull: If you have true shin splints it comes from your arch falling and your tendon pulls on your tibialis anterior muscle.

If this was me, the approach I would take is to get a Voodoo Floss band and use it on your knees and your ankles (the bottom of your feet around your arch too). The body is a kinetic chain so if you have pain around the knee you could potentially have tight hips, a tight heel cord, or tight calves.

How tight do you stay when you squat? This could come from a faulty movement pattern too.

Do you sleep on your side? When I used to I found my hips would get tight. I’ve found that if my quads got tight my knees would bother me because they wouldn’t track right.

Without a video or seeing you and seeing how you move, I wouldn’t feel right about saying exactly what it is, but I hope what I said gets you thinking and gives you some direction to help solve your issue. Sometimes, there’s more than one thing going on too. Good luck.

Hey sput79 thanks for the response!

I think you’re right that there is more than one thing going on. I had shin splints from jump rope for sure but the pain is coming from a close but different place now. I’m pretty sure it’s the distal portion of my patellar ligament and where it inserts in to the tibia.

My form is pretty solid although I have very long femurs and am not built to squat AT ALL (I deadlift 160 lbs more than I squat even though I focus on squat way more than deadlift). I stay tight but could always be tighter. I sleep in pretty much every way throughout the night.

I’ve gotten a lot stronger lately (first cycle I went from 225x5x5 squat to 315x5x5 in less than 12 weeks) so I’m not surprised my connective tissue hasn’t had time to strengthen as fast as my muscles. I think I’m gonna take a week off squatting and maybewon’t deadlift either just to give it time to heal rather than constantly stressing it. Then just try once per week with light weight to keep the movement pattern and not start back up until it’s fully healed.

I’m not gonna do the Voodoo Floss bands yet, but if it doesn’t get better I’ll give it a try. Sounds interesting to use as a prehab though.

Thanks for taking the time to help man I really appreciate it.

@Joyful: Try the Couch stretch with a banded distraction… look it up on Kelly Starrett’s Youtube channel. Do you stretch your quads now?

I just foam roll them. I didn’t realize he had a youtube channel. Very good videos there!

I’ve had this for 20 years now, no kidding. Cannot run, play soccer on hard surface with the kids, go long hiking trips etc. At it’s worst it feels like a row of pearls under the skin from all the lumps along the shin, and just tapping gently on them is very painful.

Calf training has been out of the question for long periods, and if I get a really good hard pump in my calves it gets so tight around the shin and hurts like hell…

Recently I have started training the tibialis anterior using rubber bands like JM does, and it seems like it actually helps. I guess that’s a good idea to do anyways to train the calves for max development, but I really feel the difference when training both sides of the lower leg instead of just the calf muscles like I used to do…

I’m also getting the VooDoo bands, the Supernova etc from Rouge Fitness and will try flossing my calves as well.