I am 25, female, and exercise 4 times a week. In January, at only 5'4", my weight hit 165 lbs. This was really horrible for me because up until 3 years ago, I had been at 120 lbs, was really active, and have never been pregnant. So I decided I needed to do something about it and started walking/jogging at a local track. I got shin splints really easy, which I figured was in part to my weight, and probably because I had bad shoes. Well...I rested a few days, iced my shins, took asprin, and bought new shoes and they never seemed to quit hurting when I ran. So I had to switch to working out on a stationary bike or a stair stepper. I've since lost 17 lbs, which is good, but I had hoped I'd have lost more by now. And I'm sure it's because I wasn't running. But my endurance is up and I feel great. I've started jogging again. I've been jogging for about a month. I stretch every day, and just on Monday I started feeling the shin splints again! How in the world do you get rid of them? I want to run, because I lose weight so much faster that way, but it hurts. Do you always have them?
Shin splints are caused by repeated impact on the larger shin bone (tibia). Usually the calves (lower (anterior) leg muscles) instinctively flex when your feet make a hard impact if you have not sustained injury, then this is due to weakness or fatigue of the muscle. It may also be because you are simply not used to running and have lost the instinct. You will need to look into making sure your feet provide a little "bounce" when you are jogging or otherwise in the near future.
For the time being you have sustained an injury which will heal with rest.
If normal everyday activity, such as walking, causes pain, then you should see a doctor.
If not then you can heal the shin splint completely with around 3 weeks of rest. To determine when you have healed, you must then stamp the heal of foot down with the same amount of force as you would apply when walking and slightly harder until you feel a slight amount of pain, about once every 2 days. The nature of shin splints means that a single strike within a long period of time, though be careful whilst doing this and stop once you feel the slightest amount of pain. A healthy tibia should not feel painful no matter how hard the impact as long as it is not repeated over long periods of time. During healing perform foot exercises to flex your calves and the muscles opposite the calves, rotate your feet and stand on your tip toes.
Take it easy for 2 weeks after it has healed, then start taking walks and build up your muscle strength so you can jog and cushion the impact on your tibia by flexing you calves and slowing the leg bone down before any harmful impact.
When you jog your feet should land on your toes first and the calves (lower (anterior) leg muscles) should instinctively flex to slow down the heal of your foot and thus your tibia. If you have not sustained some sort of injury, then your shin splint is due to weakness or fatigue of your calves and the effects of repeated impact during jogging. Tired joggers often impact hard on the heal of their foot.
Thanks for your comment. I'm gonna try those stretches and see if that helps. I never thought about standing on my toes to help with shins. No, I don't hurt when I'm just walking around. Only after I've been jogging awhile. I think you're right: My muscles are just not used to it. Thanks again!
alright...lemon cheese cake... nodisrespect, but you are trying.
NOW IF YOU GET SHIN SPLINTS REGARDLESS... perform the stretching I prescribed below... but her is a tip. Take a wax paper "dixie" cup. Fill it up with water and stick in the freezer until it freezes. When it is completely frozen. Take it out. begin to use it as a massage on your sore shins. as the ice melts, you can peel back the cup, and have more ice to massage your sore shins.... remember STRETCHING THEM REALLY HELPS THE BEST. ADVIL WILL ONLY DO SO MUCH< BUTS YOU NEED TO STRECH AND ICE THEM AS MUCH AS THEY HURT> Eventually it will make your recovery time faster... garaunteed!
The best thing to prevent shin splints are as followed (and this comes with 14.5 years experiences). First and for most you want to stretch before you exercise AND AFTER:
do the the outside of your ankles (by rolling them over away from your body gentley and doing this for 15-25 seconds a time about 3 times. also, you want to strectch your calve muscles about about 20-30 seconds a time for about 2-3 times after that. and i am not talking about wimping out here, you need to stretch your calves long and hard before you work out, seriously. And most importantly you need to take the toe of you foot, stick it straight on to the floor and push forward with the rest of you leg and you will feel the strectch in your shins.
This also works excellent AFTER you have perforomed cardiao vascular excercise. THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT OF THEM ALL. Do it before you run, and defintley after. If you have a partener, you can have them sit on your toes while you lean back on you back... it hurts in your shins but helps a lot with your shins. do this a bunch for 15 -20 seconds a time. You can also do this by sticking your toes underneath a couch and leaning back.
DO THIS BEFORE AND AFTER WORKOUT TO LIMIT SHINSPLINTS.
Oooo! That's a good idea to try the dixie cup ice thing. I'll do it. And I will definitely start stretching more AFTER I excersise. I always have a LITTLE bit, but not enough. I will try all these stretches and see if they help. I haven't ran since I've posted due to b-day parties, etc. So I haven't tried yet. I'll do it tonight and see how I feel!
Hey there, I too suffer from shinsplints after training too hard and too fast for a half marathon. The advice and experience I have had:
- stretch only after a short (10/15 mins) warm up before your actual run. Never stretch a cold muscle!! Do easy stretching after your warm up, take your run, and then stretch long and more agressively after your run- be sure to hold each stretch for at least 20-30 seconds, it seems so long but is virtually ineffective otherwise. You should notice a much quicker recovery (less soreness-) from this after-workout stretching! The calves are often the main culprit- stretching them deeply and properly might be all you need. There's a great product called the Step Stretch that helps get really deep into the gastrod and soleus muscles in the calf, like stretching off the edge of a curb but deeper and more controlled, that thing has helped me a ton.
- the dixie cup icing is awesome. A long freezer-gelpac is also uselful as it molds to the leg, you can wrap it on for 20 mins or so with an ace bandage a couple times a day- I do it anytime I'm sitting still if my shins have been bugging me. Ice several times a day until you're healed, you skip a day and fall back two in your recovery! Advil - also your friend. It does calm inflammation. Just don't overdose, no one wants pain free shins at the expense of a damaged liver :)
- Shoes are of utmost importance. They're only good for 250 - 500 miles of training for one thing, and those miles add up faster than you might think! Track your workouts and see. Be sure to buy from a reputable athletic shoe store who can put you on a treadmill to assess your gait and see where your foot moves through your stride, and then steer you toward the type of shoe your physiology requires (stability, motion control, neutral, etc)
- Last, if the shinsplints don't heal with about 3 weeks of no impact activity (you can bike, swim, use an elliptical machine etc in the meantime) and proper shoes, you should definitely look into orthotic inserts. Over the counter types like Superfeet might be enough, or you might want to see a physical therapist for custom rigid inserts to compensate for whatever biomechanical deficiencies are causing your shins to scream. I personally wish I'd just gone to inserts from the first sign of pain, it would have saved a lot of time and anguish.
OK, hope I didn't sound like an annoying know-it-all, I've just been going thru it and know how hard it was for me to round up all this info over like four months!! Hope some of it is helpful and wish you well!
Funny enough I came looking for an answer to treating shin splints and you're story is exactly the same as mine! Weird. Same before and after weight, same height, everything. I'm glad you asked this question because there are some really great answers on here.
I've had a problem with shin splints in the past, mostly from jogging on pavement. Until recently I had just stopped running completely, but then I found something awsome! They are called Kangoo Jumps. It's a low impact running boot. It's pretty much the most amazing purchase I have ever made, got them for $20 on ebay. They do look ridiculous and you get a lot of people staring at you while you are kangooing down the street, but it is so much fun, and it makes running much easier on your body. Check them out... http://www.kangoojumps.com
The only reason I have gotten shin splints again is because I am doggysitting a pitbull (who obviously needs vigorous excersise) and being only 11 months old, she just wants to attack the kangoo which makes it impossible to run. I have been running with her three times a day and I don't think I will be able to stand for much longer. I'm gonna have to sort this shin pain out asap, for the sake of the pooch.
i am 14 and i am in cross country. i have been a runner for about three years now(track,soccer,cross country, etc.). i have shin splints every time i run i hate it! i stretch them everyday i ice them and everything! i need some tips on how to get rid of these horrible pains!
I also have the Kangoo Jumps. The hard surface of the boot has caused me to have pain/swelling in my shin area. I am going to place a gel pack in my boot. I really hope it helps because I enjoy working out in my boots I just don't like the swelling in my shin area afterwards. Have you had this problem?
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