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Shin Splints

Posted: Tue Aug 14, 2007 1:07 pm
by Sliver
I've got pretty bad shin splints. I can barely jog, let alone run. I'd like to be able to actually go running again, but I don't know what I need to do to fix this. Are shin splints a permenant thing? Is there anything I can fo to rehabilitate them? Is there anything I can to to help them heal faster? Is there anything I can do to make sure they've healed before I go running again?

Posted: Tue Aug 14, 2007 2:51 pm
by Stephen Johnson
First of all, see a doctor to make sure that you're not suffering from chronic compartment syndrome. This condition mimics the symptoms of shin splints, but can lead to serious problems if left untreated. You should also be x-rayed to make sure that you don't have a stress fracture.

If you do have shin splints, treatment and prevention are discussed here.

In a nutshell:

1- Rest
2 - When you resume running, increase your milage slowly
3 - Wear good footwear!
4 - Do dorsiflexion and stretching exercises for the anterior tibialis muscle

Posted: Tue Aug 14, 2007 4:53 pm
by Sliver
Well I've had them off and on for 6 months now. If it were CCS I'd have probably lost my legs at this point. I'll start doing the stretches and leg work and see if that helps.

Posted: Tue Aug 14, 2007 11:13 pm
by Dave X
I've had shin splints before.

The worst time came during track season a few years ago. It would get to the point where I could bring myself to run 100 or 200m, but immediately after it felt like my shins were going to split apart, honestly unbearable pain, and I would have to call it a day. When I started waking up with them and feeling slight pain in the morning going up and down stairs I finally saw a doctor... the only thing that helped was rest. There's certain massage techniques that supposedly help, but it took me well into the summer to heal up, and I couldn't run frequently at all.

I had a slight recurrence when I began running on a concrete indoor track this winter. In general hard surfaces tend to aggrivate it more.

Posted: Fri Aug 17, 2007 1:37 pm
by strathmeyer
Sliver, you're going to be able to find plenty of excellent advice on the internet (icing, anti-inflammatories, stretching, not running on hard surfaces), but this is sort of a "weight lifting" forum so I'll give you the weight lifting answer.

You need to find some way to strengthen your tibia muscle, and this is by far the best and fastest way to get rid of shin splints forever. Most "normal people" will never step into a gym or lift a weight and so are never given this advice. Just do some exercise that involves raising your toes off of the "ground". I've had to do this many different ways over the years. I've done it backwards on standing calf presses, and on certain leg press/hack squat machines (there many different types of these machines and some don't seem to work well at all.) I've also tried just raising my toes on a smith press or in a squat rack but this seems to require way too much weight.

Again, there's plenty of different ways to strengthen your tibia muscle and you need to try them until you find the one that's right for you, using the normal weight lifting techniques (3-4 sets of 8-15 reps.)

Posted: Mon Aug 20, 2007 8:51 am
by Stuart510
As an ex-athlete (sprints were and are my specialty) I have experienced shin splints before, which occured as a result of gradual wear and tear due to months of jogging on concrete. I found the solution to my problem was rest and a change in my routine, I now run on grass only. In your case I would suggest gradually resuming your training on grass or proper track fields after seeking medical advice and resting up a bit.

Posted: Thu Aug 23, 2007 1:53 am
by Dowls
Ok you need to determine if it is in fact shin splints, as it could be

1. Shin Splints :usually caused by excissive microtrauma to the tibia fascia and connective tissues which sets off a chronic inflamatory response which is aggravated via exercise.

2.Compartment Syndrome: There are 4 compartments of muscles in the tibia/fibula region. An excessive hypertrophy or muscle growth occludes blood blow to the foot casuing excruciating pain with increasing intensity of exercise and uasully rapdily eases when exercise is ceased.

3.tibial stress fractures: Actual fracture of the Tibia which may only show up on bone scan. these are usually caused by long term repetitve stress and will usuaklly leave a dulll aching painful sensation on weight bering, with pain increasing with exercise.

Rest is recomeneded as it will give time for a stress fracture/shinsplints to heal, but will most likley have minimal effect on compartment syndrome.

An Assesment by a podiatrist is essential as poor biomechanics can easily casue these conditions. Generall;y someone with feet which roll in(inversion) /out (eversion or have flat feet will be preidpossed to these kinds of injuries, therefore correct footwear is essential.

For compartment syndrome a thourgh assement is required to determin m=which muscles are enlarged, and then a specific exercsie program needs to be followed to correct muscular imablances.

hope this helps, having had stress fracture myself i can understand your frustration.