It's a rare runner who doesn't encounter shin splints at some point, so here we address diagnosis, cause and, most importantly, treatments that work.
"Shin splints" describes a combination of injuries/weaknesses all relating to pain, often materialising as extreme tenderness or an aching throbbing, in the front of the lower and shin area of the leg.
Pain right on the shinbone suggests Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome (MTSS) that has been linked to a lack of bone density, possibly explaining why it's more common in teenagers and women. Inflammation and pain round the shin and lower leg area is more related to referred calf problems that feed into the tendons.
Regardless of the exact injury, the tips in this video will help to alleviate the symptoms and get you on the road to recovery:
Over-pronation has been identified as a common contributor to MTSS and shin pain, so popping in to one of our stores with your current shoes for Natural Gait Analysis is a no brainer - we'll only suggest new shoes if that's actually what you need! Sometimes orthotic running insoles are the answer, and we'll be happy to advise you on this too.
It's worth mentioning, if you experience the pain only on one leg this indicates a lack of balance - maybe you over-pronate more on this leg, or there's something in your hip / lower back area that needs attention. Strengthening your calf with single leg squats is good, along with core, Pilates style, exercises to balance out the body.
Chi Running Courses are master at fundamentally resolving shin splints - plus many other running injuries - addressing all the imbalances in your running gait.
My last tip - compression socks. Worn during and post exercise they really help to support the leg muscles and keep the blood flowing nicely to aid recovery.
Okay, I could keep talking and talking about this subject but I think you've been bamboozled enough! So, there are lots of useful links below to things I've talked about, and remember, it will get better but if the pain is acute/unrelenting get to a physio pronto.
If you have any news/views/issues you'd like to discuss, I'd love to hear from you below¦.
These are exercises that we've found very useful and want to share with our customers. But we're not certified instructors. Always consult your specialist before beginning any exercise programme. This general information is not intended to diagnose any medical condition or to replace your healthcare professional. Consult with your healthcare professional to design an appropriate exercise prescription. If you experience any pain or difficulty with these exercises, stop and consult your healthcare provider.