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should shin splints be the end of my running?


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so some brief history...in high school i was on the track team (not as a runner, but we still had to do the basic warm up laps, etc.). the coach would not let any runner with a shin splint participate in games or practices. i always thought the lazy kids used that as an excuse to sit out; even though I thought I felt a shin splint (I wasn't quite sure what it was at the time) but I pushed through because I didn't want to be that person making excuses. Flash forward about 8 years and I am trying desperately to get back to where i was during college. I went to the gym every day, ate well, and during the summer i took myself for a run. i was in a really great place and i felt awesome. However, I can't even walk five minutes without my shins feeling like they're on fire. My trainer said to see my doctor, but that ice would do the trick? Is this the only way to get rid of them for good? They're so debilitating becuase as much as i want to push through the pain, i phsyically can't run on a treadmill anymore. The other problem is that i just don't have the time or patience to sit down on a nightly basis with two bags full of ice. Not only is it cold and painful, but I can never find ten straight minutes to sit down until it's time to go to bed. I"m jsut afraid that this is something i'll have to live with forever. Anyone have the same issue with shin splints? PLEASE HELP!! I want to break free from this obstacle in my way and finally have no more excuses why i can't run!!

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How are your shoes?

never been quite sure on the shoes I need- I am flat footed and knock-kneed, so I know I need a lot of support, just not sure what kind of support. When I go on the elliptical, my ankles and outer parts of my feet start to hurt really bad, even when I walk outdoors. I should really go to a specialist to have them watch how I walk and get custom insoles, but I just never got around to it. I think i walk on the outside of my feet, so that might have a lot to do with the discomfort. What kind of shoes do you recommend? I'm not a runner, so I usually try and go with more of a cross-trainer...

I'm not sure where you live but many running stores/fitness stores will help you find the correct running shoe. I just trained and ran my first half marathon (after not being a runner AT ALL) and went to a place by where I live that video tapes you running. They explain your running style and what type of shoes are best to help you correct any issues you might have.

I had shin splints when I started running, even with my good shoes, but after about 2-3 weeks of consistent training they started to go away. They come back every once and a while but never last long. Obviously don't push through if you're in extreme pain but my experience is they will go away once you've gotten back into it.

Thanks! I live in the Boston area, and I know they are somewhere aroudn here, I just have to find one. Hopefully they can help me and set me straight, and I will try to be more diligent about ice and icy/hot lotion.

shin splints are mostly avoidable

Prevention

good shoes, appropriate running form for said shoes, strengthen and stretch calves, and not overtraining-which compromises running form and leads to shin splints

When you get shin splints, r.i.c.e.

rest, ice, compression, elevation

Running through it is not a good idea.  it can cause stress fractures

Real "shin splints" are due to bone strain, and can be pretty serious, but sometimes they have total cures (there are four kinds, and they have different solutions). But, a sore anterior tibialis muscle is often, incorrectly, called shin splints and it is less severe, and easier to fix. It can be really painful though, and has a burning sensation to it like other muscles when you do high repetitions of an exercise with no rest. It is really common when a person tries to walk faster than their usual pace. Unlike shin splints, it doesn't hurt when you jump rope.

If you think that it might be sore AT muscles. Try stretching, using a foam roller for massage, and walking around indoors on your heels to get the AT muscle stronger. You can lean back against a wall and do "toe raises" as well.

If you think that it is "real" shin splints, i.e. bone strain, you should read about the various types to figure out which one that you have. Do the icing right after your workout, not later in the day. And see a Dr. if you think that there is any chance that you have a stress fracture, or compartment syndrome.

I've had the sore AT muscles to the point of barely being able to walk. They heal up a little slower than any other muscle that gets really sore. I have a good friend that had the "real" shin splints. When he started running again (on his lunch hour), he take a garbage can of water/ice in his car with him when he went to the track. He'd stick his leg in that right after running, and sit there until he couldn't take it anymore. Then he'd dry off, and go back to work. He healed up completely, and never had the problem again. His was serious, but not a stress fracture!

I had shin splint for a couple years, and they always tended to flare up when I moved from home (flat prairies) to school (hills). I've found that my major problem was my running form - I used to come down too hard on my heels and drive unnecessary shock through my legs. I've since learned to strike mid-foot and haven't had any problems for over a year. So maybe check your form? It helped me!
#8  
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OGR is on to something. In many cases what you feel is a "shin splint" is really inflamed AT muscle pushing on the bone. Stretch after each run and ice of you need to. I personally find that I get shin splints during periods of increasing my weekly mileage, but I just have to push through them (as many runners on a track team would do) and they go away eventually.
#9  
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Oh and as another tip: as someone mentioned, try to avoid overstriding when you run. This can be done by trying to land your feet gently/quietly, and your stride will shorten.

If your pain right now is severe, lay off for a week or two but you can probably get back into it with more success after using some of the tips here. Don't be too lazy to ice! :)
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