T Nation

shin splints

does anybody have any tips or advice on getting rid of shin splints? we have been running inside for baseball since janurary(damn rain) and they just keep getting worse. my coach said i run on my heels. would running on my toes help? thanks.

Get some heel cups at any sporting good store.

Hey man,

I’ve got a few things for you.

To much to soon for starters.

That, and running indoors, chances are the hard surface combined with lots of cornering is what is doing you in.

are they posterior or anterior?

Conrete and gymnsium floors are super unforgiving. How are your shoes? new? lots of miles on them?

If you are like most, they are anterior.

anyhow, here’s some advice I can give as a runner(in my past).

  1. NEVER run through pain.

  2. If you have shin splints, you have to stop running until the pain(trauma) subsides. That is to say, if your shins are still hurting from your previous run, DON’T RUN! let them heal.

At the very least, back WAY off.

  1. ice those dogs.

  2. ibuprofen goes a long ways in pain relief.

once the pain is gone, you need to start stretching and strengthening your calves.

In like 80% of folks, you are getting them due to muscular imbalance in your calves. The imbalance leads to pronation when your foot hits the ground.

Put “shin splints” into google or some other search engine and read up. Look for stuff on the runners world website as well.

good luck!

Anyhow, tons of info out there on strengthening for the imbalance

Take some time off if you have an injury and it’s getting worse. You can’t ignore an injury and try to work around it (even if it’s just shin splints). Just get some rest and use the cardio equipment at the gym or go swimming for your aerobic fitness work for at least 2 - 3 weeks until your shins are fully recovered.

I agree with sean on a couple of points. First, get plently of rest and use a lot of ice. I developed a nasty case of shin splints after I blew a hamstring one time, then got back into the heavy running too soon. It was right before football season and I couldn’t afford to take any time off. By the time I got to mid-season, I had to start missing practices because I could barely walk. Its better to rest them right now and nip the problem in the bud. Otherwise you are going to be in a lot of pain within the next couple of months.

Hope this helped.

Secondly, stretch. For some reason, I found that streching my soleus ended up helping quite a bit. Also, out physio guys had me doing a stretch where I would kneel down, then sit on my heels - thereby stretching out the front of the shin. Hold for about one minute, then rotate the foot out (laterally) about fifteen degrees. This will shift the stretch more medially (more likely where you are feeling the pain). Hold for a minute, then rotate the foot laterally another fifteen degrees and stretch again.

Third, look into getting some orthotics. I was unaware that I really over-pronated when I ran. The orthotics really ended up helping quite a bit.

The only thing I disagree with seanc about is the use of ibuprofen. Ibuprofen will only end up masking the pain. It will make you feel better, and tempt you into running again. Masked pain + continuous running = more damage and a much bigger problem to deal with (ie. stress fractures).

Clansman,

I’m with you 100% on pain masking. I should have been more clear. I didn’t mean that he should run while taking them as a pain reliever, he should take them to aid in healing, and when the pain stops and he ISN’T taking them any longer, resume training.

Ibuprofen acts as an anti-inflammatory, which creates a better environment for healing, hence the recommendation. They are fairly relatively easy to abuse though.

cheers,
Sean

What kind of shoes are you wearing? I had the worst case imaginable until I bought some good shoes.

I laid off for a week then eased back into it with good running shoes and the pain is gone. Sometimes I get a little flareup with an intense HIIT session, but a frozen dixie cup and heating pad take care of that real quick.

thanks guys for the help. ive had my running shoes since a tournament this summer and i have been trying to find some new ones and i think that might be a big reason. as for where they are in the leg, its in the front-inside part. the funniest thing though is that i can do a renegade 24-min jumprope w/o in my garage without ANY pain at all. im pretty sure my running form is screwd. oh and i just took some ib-profin and have ice packs on them now

oh forgot to say that stoping aint an option. im a sophmore in highschool starting on varsity and i gota keep the older guys back. haha.

A lot of good info here. I would like to add that it also helps to excercise the front muscles on the shins. To do that get on a hack squat machine with your toes hanging of the edge of the platfrom and lift your toes up. Use a weight so that you can do 3 sets of 12 reps at first. It will balance out with your calf strength and the extra muscle will help take off some of the stress on the bones.