Ouch! Shin Splints

You know when you feel that burning pain right in the center of your shin? You massage it a little and it feels incredibly tender, like it’s bruised. That’s called shin splints and it’s a common injury. It’s caused by the tibia pulling away from the muscle and connective tissues, creating tearing in the muscle and tissue.

shin splints

Want to hear some of the common causes of shin splints?

  • Running or walking downhill
  • Running or walking on uneven surfaces
  • Wearing worn-out footwear
  • Doing too much too soon – either doing a lot of exercise after a long break, or when starting an exercise program; or increasing mileage or intensity too quickly
Want to hear what I did on the weekend?
  • Ran downhill
  • Ran on an uneven surface
  • Wore worn-out footwear
I think you can guess where this is going…yup, I had shin splints. Luckily, my new sneakers I’d pre-ordered arrived this week:
shin splints
I LOVE them. They’re the newest model of my absolute favorites, Mizuno Wave Rider. I’ve lost count of how many pairs I’ve been through over the years. I am very happy they are finally offered in cute colors.
When you have shin splints, the worst thing you can do is continue running or walking. So I took a rest from running for a couple of days, as well as refraining from squats, step-ups and lunges which can aggravate the  injury.

 

Here are the lower body exercises I stuck to while I was waiting for my shins to heal:

Deadlift – Since you are hinging from your hips and leaving your knees straight, this is a great lower-body exercise to do when you have shin splints.
Roman chair – Same movement as a deadlift, you are just using gravity rather than a weight to work the muscles.
Cable leg extensions – Again, straight leg so it’s your hip doing a single joint movement. I also added abduction (lateral leg raises) and adduction (straight leg pull ins).
On top of these exercises, I also foam rolled my calves and stretched both my calves and shins. I iced them when I could for the first day (i.e. while my little guy was napping).
How can you prevent shin splints? I know I don’t want to suffer from them again! The best preventative exercises for shin splints are toe raises (dorsi flexion), and calf raises (plantar flexion). Make sure that you’re stretching and rolling your calves and shins following your workout every time as well. My golden rule is to only stretch when you are warm and never do static stretching before a warm up.
 
END RESULT – Monday was painful; Tuesday was kind of painful; Wednesday was an easy 6 mile run in my new shoes (felt like I was running on pillows); today I feel back to 100%. I should be ready to do a speed workout over the weekend, no problem.
Have you had shin splints?
What did you do to try to heal them?

Comments

  1. yes! Thank you SOO much for sharing this post with me! I’ve been a little antsy sitting around with my sore shins. I got refitted for running shoes today so that should help. Have a great weekend 🙂
    Caroline recently posted…#100SummerMiles + Sore Shins {My Training Diary: 7.31}My Profile