Quick Guide to Shin Splints

Over the past few weeks, my shins have been really tender...especially my left one. It was so bad at one point, that I had to take a week off from training. It's a good thing I did, because I was able to complete my last 20 mile training run yesterday, before the Marine Corps Marathon on October 30th. Today, a client was asking what to do for shin pain and I thought I would post a guide to dealing with shin splints. The main thing to remember is if the pain goes away after you start running, you're probably fine to run through the pain. If the pain never leaves, is unbearable, or hurts while walking, you should take some time off or see your doctor. DO NOT take ibuprofin before a run just so you can go out and run on it! You will only be hurting yourself further.

*Shin Splints: Inflammation of the tendons on the inside of the front of the lower leg.

Symptoms: Aching, throbbing, tenderness along inside of shin about halfway down, or all along the shin from ankle to the knee. Pain when you press on the inflamed area. Pain may go away during a run but return after.


Tired or inflexible calf muscles


Running on hard surfaces such as concrete or sidewalks

 Poor shoes, and increasing mileage too quickly

 Beginners are most susceptible.

Ice the area for 15 minutes, 3 times/day. Ice immediately after run.

 Cut down or stop running altogether.
Wear compression sleeves or socks to promote circulation in the lower leg.
Do alternative, non-impact exercises such as cycling or swimming.
Strengthen and stretch lower leg.
Warm-up well and run on soft surfaces.

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