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Any advice for Shin Splints??

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I have been trying to get in shape and loose some weight pre-ski season. I want to try and improve my skiing this year and getting in shape is a must.

I am running 2 to 4 miles, 3 or 4 times a week. Well, I run near my house and that is on flat hard roads and that is causing some pain in the lower legs. I have had shin splints before and this pain is the same and it does go away shortly after I run. I have been doing a little extra streching and some ice. The only odd thing is the pain is more on the side of my shins. On the inside of both legs to be exact. There is some pain on the front of the shin but more on the insdie. It goes from right above the ankle and up about 6 or 7 inches. The pain does not go all the way back to the calf. There is some tenderness when I touch or massage it. The tenderness is there all the time but the pain is only there when I run and goes away with in 30 minutes of running.

Any thoughts on this. What can I do to reduce the pain? Rest, strech, run through it?

I am a large frame guy who goes about 225 and I am 5'9". I am in decent shape but I have let myself go in recent years. I am fairly athletic and played football in college (one year).

Thanks for the thoughts and advice!
post #2 of 11
Better shoes for you. Saucony makes a grid trigon that comes in 3 different durometers (densities) with the durable for heavier guys. Unfortunately it is still a neutral shoe and it sounds like you may need something more towards a motion control shoe (or at least a stability shoe). I'm saying this because of the stain inside the shin and above the ankle. It sounds like you're pulling and straining those tendons due to excessive pronation. Go to a good shop and get fitted for a good runner. Running through the pain is not the answer because long term that will end your running for a good while. You may have good shoes and you may have new shoes but the shoes you have are almost certainly not the shoes for you.
post #3 of 11
Originally posted by Ty Webb:
....Any thoughts on this. What can I do to reduce the pain? Rest, strech, run through it? ...

Ty Webb,

Yep, sure sounds like you have shin splints. Been there done that. Look on the bright side .... you won't be levering against the tongues of your ski boots anytime soon, so if you can stay out of the back seat you'll have a nice centered stance [img]graemlins/evilgrin.gif[/img]

Rest, stretch and let'em heal. DON'T try to run through it .... I got them this spring and trying to run through it only made it worse - prior to that I had been running 5 miles 3-4 days per week thru the winter on a treadmill. My bright side was to use it as rationalization for a new road bicycle

1) Let them heal before anymore running.
2) Ride a bike instead!
3) Get good running shoes that support your feet properly - maybe orthodics.
4) Build your mileage on a treadmill, then gradually add road miles

[Edit: I agree with L7, the Grid Trigon is an excellent shoe ... if it's a match for you. It could also be the terrain (crown in the road) that causes you to over pronate. Below are some links with info on shin splints. Good luck!]



[ October 22, 2003, 08:53 PM: Message edited by: cgeib ]
post #4 of 11
I'll second the motion on shoes. Proper shoes make a HUGE difference. Also, get off the asphalt as much as you can once you've healed. If no access to treadmill, try nearby trails or perhaps a local golf course if permitted. Seek out a local running store and get fit properly. Worth the effort.
post #5 of 11
Definitely shoes! I would also check with a doctor. Many conditions are labeled "shin splints", but it can be something else.

Also, everyone can benefit from exercising the anterior tibialis, which facilitates dorsi flexion. Sit oposite another chair that has a bar across the bottom. Actively flex your foot against the bar. You can also use your other foot as resistance. Dorsi flexion is decreased as you get older, so start working on it now.
post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
I don't think shoes are the problem. I did go to a well known running store and get filmed on their treadmill. I am pretty neutral actually, no pronation or suppination. I tried on 4 pair of shoes they recommended and ended up with an Asics Gel Cumulus. I have three pair because I bought two more off of Ebay. I rotate my shoes regularly and none of them are worn out at all. I would try a golf course or someplace like that but I live in the middle of no place. It is a twenty or thirty minute drive to a golf course. The local High School track is an option but it is a cinder track and I get my shoes, socks, and legs very very dirty running on the track. If it rains, I can't run on the track either. The side of the country roads are pretty un even or they are ditches.

I will try to do the strech that Lisamarie mentioned. I have started doing some streching with rubber tubing that seems to be helping. I guess I will have to do the bike some also. I don't enjoy the bike that much though because I don't seem to get as much cardio work out of it compared to cycling. I might try to swim if I can get to the pool. I have also used the stair stepper at home a couple of times and that doesn't hurt the shins. I guess I should invest in a treadmill that has some decent cushioning.

How long should it take to heal my shins if I do other lower stress cardio exercise?

Thanks for all the info.

Ty [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]
post #7 of 11
I've had problems in the past. What works best for me is deep tissue massage, hurts like hell as the shin is quite sensitive.

To stop them coming back I always run on grass where possible, and massage in some anti-inflamme cream before I run. The cream I use is a bit like deep heat, except it is natural remedy with calendular, arnica, peppermint etc, warms things up. Not sure if it the cream that works, or the fact that I am massaging the shin applying the cream.
post #8 of 11
Shin pain can come from many causes. Find a sports doctor who can investigate what's going on. It can be the stress from pounding on hard roads...(stress fracturing). It can be from badly aligned feet (podiatry fixes that). It might be stress from your weight, interacting with badly aligned feet. It might be that there's a muscle imbalance, or that your muscles are too large. Pressure inside the shin. Referred pain from somewhere else, like your lower back.

I first got shin splints in 1983. In 1987 I finally had an anterior fasciotomy, to strip the sheath from the muscle. I still don't think that actually nailed the cause...my shins are now puffy and numb, but there's some underlying tenderness still. I tried all the various treatments before having the Op (it was fairly major and the scars are a foot long!), but have a suspicion it was something to do with nerves coming from my back.
post #9 of 11
My trainer back in the day had us do two things for shin splint pain.

1. Ice before and after running. Fill paper cups with water and freeze. Peel the paper off the top of the frozen cup and use to message the shins before and after your run.

2. Tape. A few layers of type reasonably tight just below the knee before your run. For some people this reduces the pain, although it never worked for me.
post #10 of 11
I had a similar problem a few years ago, basically I had an imbalance between the calf muscle and the muscles in the shin. I did excercises to build up the muscles in front of the tibia(they are like reverse calf raises). I also quit running on the streets and tried to stay on the grass or dirt. I quit using the treadmills at the gym for a while or I tried to find ones that prodived some cushioning upon impact. These helped me to eliminate the pain.
post #11 of 11
3 suggestions from a guy who has had shin splints many many times:

1. Rest and let them heal.

2. Rest and let them heal.

3. Rest and let them heal.
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