shin splints?


After many years I've managed to convince my husband to go running. He's managed to do 20 minutes, and has gone 3 times a week for the past 4 weeks. In the past 2 weeks though he has had pain in his legs around the shin area. Although I have made him buy new trainers (Reebok cheapy pair, he wouldn't buy an expensive pair), and also to stretch properly afterwards , (he was only doing 10 seconds of pushing against a wall), and put ice on the area that hurt when it first occured, and he has rested for a week, he is still getting the pain. Is there anything else he can do? 

Both he and I are getting frustrated with this, as I want him to enjoy running as much as I do. Should he see a physio or sports massage therapist? or rest again? please help!


  • imagehe's now limping around the living room, like a wounded animal
  • hopefully cabletow will spot this and add his thoughts.  he is a doctor specialising in running injury.
  • That's quite a high impact start to running and on cheapie shoes I'm not surprised his shins hurt. Make [repeat MAKE] him get some decent shoes before he does lasting damage.
  • Hi BB

    Sorry to say but shin splints need more than a week to heel. I've had it fairly bad twice and have needed 3 weeks off (but kept fit by cycling) and then slowly come back. In coming back, the advice I got and took from my brother (a GP) is run but if any pain returns then abandon the run. I believe a physio can help and speed up the proscess so may be worth a try. Icing is also good.

    Hope this helps

    Ment to say, if he tries to run through the pain it will def get worse - I've done that as well.

  • Hiya!

    Cheers everyone. I had someone told me today that taking anti inflamatories, massage and acu puncture can also help.

    I will make him buy new shoes too...I made him run, so I can make him see the benefit of running in a good pair of decent shoes.

    Cheers image

  • If it is still a problem, I'd see a doc or a physio to get a proper assessment but there are several things that could be happenning.

    One is inflamation of the muscle between the two bones in the lower leg and it feels like tiredness or weakness in that area.  I think it's called compartment syndrome.  I get this when I am coming back after prolonged rest periods and is, I believe, more to do with tired muscles swelling in a confined space.

    Another, shin splints, is a new injury to me that I am just starting to enjoy!  I am prepping for a half marathon in three weeks and was struck by this two weeks ago.  (Might just get there.)  This occurred to me as a significant pain on the inside of my shin at the bottom of the bulge of my calf muscle, if that makes sense.  I had been running quite a few 8 milers on concrete ( a bad idea I now gather) and this stopped me dead a mile into one of them - I could not run at all.  Apparently it's due to over tight muscles pulling on the sheath around the bone causing it to become inflamed.

    I believe stress fractures are also a possibility and I hope that neither of us are sufferring from this as this takes months of recovery.

    I suspect your husband has the first complaint (he would probably not be able to run with the second or third) and would agree with all the above suggestions.  Good running shoes (if it's going to be a frequent thing - get him analysed on a treadmill to select the right shoes), gentle mileage build-up and proper warm ups. 

    I am a larger chap for a runner (13½ stone) and the weight adds to the stress in the lower legs.  It has caused me achillies issues, calf tears and now shin splints.  I just have to be aware and take notice when things start to hurt.

     Good luck!

  • I suffer from shin splints and my chiropractor suggested getting arch supports for my running shoes.  You can buy them from Boots and the best type I was told to get were the ones that are half the length of your foot (instead of inserts that are as long as your foot).  He also suggested removing any inserts in your running shoes before you use them.  It felt strange to begin with but certainly seem to help and now if I run without them I am sure to suffer!  However I tend to ice and massage after every long run.
    As above though once you get them rest is the only thing to do.
  • Help....
    I dont get pain on the run, just a twinge when I touch my toes to strech after. the twinge is on the outside off my right shin just above my ankle what is it?
  • I too am currently training for a 1/2 (4 wks this Sunday) and ended up with the dreaded splints when I jumped from 6 to 10 miles. Not clever. Anyhow I rested for a week before my next 10 mile run which I did bandaged up and it is now worse than ever.

    I only hope I haven't blown my chances for the bug day.

    So rest, rest, rest! Other than cycle work can anyone suggets alternatives to keep the fitness levels up? Tried the crosstrainer & row machines at the gym but this seems to aggrivate.

    Thanks for the arch support tip Helmet, I may try them out.
  • Hiya,

    Hope you all o.k. We are going out for a run tomorrow, and will be running on grass. I am also very lucky in that I have a physio in my work that I can also ask advice about these things. She says that it sounds like shin splints but if it gets worse that she will treat him. We are also going to get ibu gel aswell. I'll keep you all updates on how he does.

     livetorun your stretching could be due to tight calf muscles. Make sure you stretch them out too, and hold it for 30 - 40 seconds.

    Roger, my husband is also a larger chap (15 stone and 3 lbs), so I'll tell him to very weary of any twinges.

    Will let you know how he gets this space..and wish us luck! image 

  • Good luck - hope it goes OK.

    I am off running for another week - introduced myself to the cross trainer in the gym at lunch time today.  Not the same at all, but at least I got my heart rate above 160 for an hour and totally pain free.

    I saw a podiatrist last night - very impressive analysis of my leg mechanics but couldn't find any causation below the knee.  However, he seems to think I wiggle my hips too much and this is the source of the problem. (Might also explain the dodgy looking geezer who follows me round).   Another physio session to come!

  • Hi roger and all,

     Hope you o.k. How did the physio session go? I've been on holiday (and my husband did no running at all, but neither did I! oops!). He's just started getting back to it yesterday, and says he's o.k., so maybe that 1 week rest has helped. He's also running one day and recovery the next day, to see if this helps, and let the muscles recover. It doesn't help he's a bit silly and sprints at the this a man thing? image


  • Actually haven't been to physio yet - with all the hoops you have to jump through to get your insurance to pay up I ended up with a week or two before the Reading Half and thought I'd leave it 'till after.

    Anyhow, I ran Reading having not run at all for the previous five weeks through fear of aggravating the shin splints and I'm pleased to say that they didn't resurface at all - the rest certainly seems to have done the job.  And I took 45 secs off my PB, despite the lack of running, so I think I must have been over-training when I hurt myself.

    However, I don't recommend a five week no-running taper as my feet are a complete mess of blisters under blisters and my quads were bu**ered; had to work at home on the Tuesday after as I couldn't walk!

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