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Shin Spints (Read 812 times)

    I started running again in January. I've been an on again off again runner for years starting in High School when I ran track. I used to get horrible shin splints in High School (I'm 30 now) but I haven't had them since then. Now my shin splints are pretty bad. I was told to get better shoes since the ones I had were old and that seems to have helped some. I also try to rest a few days between runs. I'm running an avg of 12 miles/week and I'm having to stretch and ice and heat them. I'm starting to be concerned that the problem is more serious than shin splints. Any thoughts?


    Needs more cowbell!

      Honeybun, I also ran track in HS and had REALLY awful shin splints (I'm 33, now). So far [knock on wood] they haven't returned, but I'm also not running more than about 10 miles/week, at this point. I'm always paranoid that they will return. I do think shoes play a major role, though. Our track team always got a deal because we all wore the same shoe, but that deal probably had a lot to do with my shin issues--a penny saved isn't worth much if it means miserable, painful runs. Do you have a running specialty store anywhere near you? That's probably the best way to choose shoes...to have someone well-trained fit them specifically for your feet and needs. Though I will admit that I got very lucky and ordered a pair of New Balance shoes online based upon my known issues and need for wide width shoes. So far I couldn't be happier with my selection. I used Eastbay.com and roadrunnersports.com to narrow my choices down. I feel for ya'...shin splints would be enough to likely make me quit running. I hope the solution for you is really as simple as new shoes. Smile k

      I shoot pretty things! ~

      '14 Goals:

      • 2 olympic distance duathlons -- 6 days apart -- PR at least 1

      • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)

      vicentefrijole


        Hello! Congrats on starting running again! I'm sure you're going to get lots of good advice with this question from all the helpful runners on this site... Shin-splints are difficult to comment on because they mean different things to different people.. some of which can be pretty serious. But there are some general things that may help... I'll start with some simple suggestions and maybe some of the more experienced runners can chime in with more specific recommendations. 1) You've already done the most important thing -- getting new shoes! Well done! I'd say your old worn-out shoes were definitely contributing to your problem. If you use the "shoes" menu on this site to keep track of the mileage you're putting on your new pair, you'll have some may of telling if they're getting too old (350-500 miles). Also, the foam/plastic materials that give shoes their cushion and support will break-down over time, regardless of miles. So if you take some time off from running, it may be a good idea to get some fresh shoes when you start again. 2) The next thing you can do to help is continue (and perhaps improve) your stretching. From what I recall, tight hamstrings and calves can contribute to stress-fractures in your shins... but to make it simple, just make sure you're getting a LONG, balanced (not TOO strenuous) stretch before, during, and after your run. 3) Don't overtrain (yes, even 12 mi/week is too much if you're starting from zero). This is the cause of most of the injuries I've "inflicted on myself"... I get so excited by that spring sunshine that I run too far and too often and my muscles/bones can't take it! Best to ease into it very slowly and use some cross-training to burn off the excess energy. 4) Lastly, did you have your "gait analyzed" when you got your new pair? It might be something to look into if you're still having problems. The right pair of shoes (different for every individual) is essential for injury-free running.. I recommend you buy your shoes at a "running store", not a general sports-store, and then ask them for a gait analysis, to determine if you pronate, supinate, etc. If they don't know what you're talking about, find a better store! If you like reading about this stuff (like me) here's an interesting site that someone recommended once on this messageboard: http://www.drpribut.com/sports/spsport.html I don't agree with everything he recommends (he says stretch each muscles 10 seconds, 10 times each... I prefer longer 30 sec stretches) but there are some interesting descriptions of many of these topics. Check out the "shin splints" and "Avoiding injuries" links. I hope, with a little rest and recovery, you can heal up and get back out there!
          Thanks for the great advice! I went to Run On to get my shoes. They watched me walk and suggested that I get a stability shoe because I have slight pronation. I chose Brooks Adrenaline. I had been running in a neutral shoe all of these years. I have been stretching before and after I run. I'm afraid not to now :-). Thanks for reminding me not to overstrain. The salesperson at Run On who is a marathon runner said that too. She said that shin splints can result from increasing your distance and speed to quickly. I have certainly made that mistake. Thank you both for your detailed responses!
          Mile Collector


          Abs of Flabs

            honeybun, Back at around 1998, I fought a bout of shin splints for about 1.5 years. I even went to physical therapy, but that didn't help much. Ever since then, I noticed that if I go out too fast on a training run or race, I would get shin splints really fast. If I do a warm up, or force myself to jog the beginning part of the run until my legs are completely warmed up, then I wouldn't get shin splints. Maybe that's related to flexibility. When you're warmed up, you tend to be more flexible, thus reducing the workload on your shins. Another thing I noticed is the camber of the road. As runners, we are trained to run against traffic. Since the roads are not flat, the slant does a real number on my legs. If I run with traffic, or on a flat surface, then I tend not to get shin splints either. That said, are you sure you have shin splints? There are several causes that might exhibit themselves as shin splints. For example, it could also be compartment syndrome, or a stress fracture. If you're sure that you don't have those, and if the problem does not go away in two weeks, let me know. I have a remedy that will fix it, but it can also make a grown man cry. Let's hope you won't need it. Good luck! eric Smile
              Oh, dear. Mile Collector, you've got me really curious. What treatment is there for shin splints (besides complete rest) is there that could make a grown man like you cry?

              Roads were made for journeys...

              Mile Collector


              Abs of Flabs

                Oh, dear. Mile Collector, you've got me really curious. What treatment is there for shin splints (besides complete rest) is there that could make a grown man like you cry?
                Wingz, I don't know if I can tell you the secret sauce Tongue I found it over the internet and it's the only treatment that worked every single time. Granted I didn't cry, but then I'm not a grown man either Big grin
                  No, I'm not completely sure I have shin splints. If it doesn't get better I might have to go to a doctor and check it out. Hopefully he won't give me the same remedy you were suggesting Tongue.
                    NO MORE SHIN SPLINTS! I discovered that doing stretches that target my shins before and after running did the trick! Wink


                    Needs more cowbell!

                      That's great news! Shin splints are about the worst thing EVER! k

                      I shoot pretty things! ~

                      '14 Goals:

                      • 2 olympic distance duathlons -- 6 days apart -- PR at least 1

                      • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)

                      Isis


                        NO MORE SHIN SPLINTS! I discovered that doing stretches that target my shins before and after running did the trick! Wink
                        I'm tying to get rid of a pesky shin splint and am wondering what particular stretches you used to stretch your shins?

                        ~I~

                          One that I've done is kneeling with your knees together and then just sitting back onto your feet. If you've got any knee problems that might not be a good idea, but it really helped me stretch out the shins.
                          1000 mile club. "Pain is just the weakness leaking out."


                          Needs more cowbell!

                            So to do that stretch do you flex your feet and keep your toes on the ground or point your toes? I would assume point...? k

                            I shoot pretty things! ~

                            '14 Goals:

                            • 2 olympic distance duathlons -- 6 days apart -- PR at least 1

                            • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)