I am a college track and field athlete who has been diagnosed with the very common shin splints. I am a high jumper and a mid-distance runner (400m). I have been getting shin splints throughout high school because of this sport, but my previous coaches have never seen it as a true injury and I haven't really gotten treatment for them until now.
Before working out, I get my arches taped for extra support, and after working out (running, lifting, jumping) I always stretch and roll my muscles. Then, I ice my shins for 20 minutes. Just recently, my coach has begun myofascial release on my calves/shins. (I have yet to see definitive results, and although my calves are usually sore after he works on them, I sometimes notice that my shins feel a little better.)
However, what is not typical of my shin splints, is that I feel pain even when I'm resting sometimes - hours after any type of major physical activity.
My coach has also suggested that I might have compartment syndrome, but I'm not sure that the symptoms match.
Any idea as to what could possibly be wrong with my shins?
I used to get shin-splints too sometimes, and to be honest the only way I've found to "cure" them is to ice them ASAP and to rest until they heal, (sometimes a week or more depending on how badly they're damaged) then slowly build up the intensity again.
I only get them now if I've upped my intensive impact exercise level abruptly. If you keep on training hard while they're still trying to heal, you'll never get relief from that pain, as the motions you're performing are just aggravating the injury more. (You wouldn't try running on a broken leg and expect it to heal!)
It's hard to say "stop training" when you're actually an athlete, but true shin splints are not just sore muscles after a bit of a workout; they can be stress fractures that NEED to have time to heal. Have you had your gait analysed? Sometimes if you have fallen arches, that can contribute to the condition and you may need specialist footwear. You say you tape your arches already, so that might be a sign that you suffer from them. I'd say get a second opinion from a sports therapist if that's possible, and keep in mind that a few weeks recuperation (if that's what is needed) is better than a lifetime of pain. Best of luck, and let us know how you get on with it all.
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