Overcoming mild shin splints

I'm running a half-marathon on the 16th, and everything was going fine until some mild shin splints appeared. I'm pretty much certain I will run, so I am looking for tips to minimise the problem. I'm planning on knocking the last run on its head, and going out on the bike, and I'll bike and swim in the last (taper) week. Meanwhile, RICE, and ibuprofen. On the day of the race, the plan is to take ibuprofen & gel, and probably wear tights to keep the shins warm.

Any other advice?


  • Isn't "mild" shin splints a bit like being "a little bit pregnant"? image 

    Seriously, if you have decided you're probably going to run that is probably OK - after all only you know how bad it is.  I'm not going to preach about how shin splints can become a stress fracture as you know this already (or should image).

    You are doing the right things.  After the race you need to address why you've got SS.  Too much mileage on hard surfaces? Upping the training too much/too hard/too soon? Over pronation?  And if the latter what is that due to?  Is it weak glute meds - this muscle controls the inward rotation of your leg - if it's weak you will pronate more.  All these things you can do something about.

    Incidently, a dose of ibuprofen is either pill or gel - not both though I doubt it will kill you.  Also keeping the shins warm shouldn't make any difference.  Its not a muscle but either the muscle sheath or the bone which usually aches with shin splints. 

  • Im just starting back from a v.bad case of shin splints which had me in agony for best part of 6 months, got some physio and some insoles and last week managed to shuffle round a 5k in just a smidge under 30mins with the help of compressport calf guards. Im not a rep for them but i think they defintly helped me, if youve got a few quid spare - there not cheap about 30quid, then theyre worth a shot. best of luck and theres no shame in walking if it gets too bad, just so long as you finish!
  • Calf stretching was key to stopping my mild shin splints. I wasn't attempting a half marathon though.
  • Lol at 'mild' shinsplints! Its still a shin splint and IMO still requires you to be careful and lay off things for a while. This was something I was diagnosed with and had to research in order to get myself back to running again (it turns out the diagnosis was wrong though and after actually having a scan-they never thought this was important before... I was told I had a "very definate stress fracture"!) But I did read up on things quite a bit.

    RICE after any impact based exercise is important, impact being anything like running or even walking.

    Wear softer types of shoes day to day if you can. Things like trainers are helpful. The aim is to reduce the impact- a shin splint (however mild) is an injury. You can do all the jumping you want but you need it to recover in order to do that. I was always told by the physio if I could hop 15 times and no pain, I was recovered. It took a long time to get to that level but it is possible!

    Compression bandages did help me whilst I was running: the runners need stores and some other running stores have the blue LP wraps which did help me, it seemed like compression seemed to give me an edge on weather or not the impact hurt me or not- but as I say, I had a SF all along and was misdiagnosed so not sure if the same would apply to shinsplints, however they are billed as being useful to shinsplint sufferers.

    Rest is important. Things like sleeping and eating well. I noticed if I didn't sleep I had pain almost as soon as I started to walk let alone run. I know for me if I don't sleep my body just doesn't recover, if I don't eat well my body wont have the nutrients it requires to recover. If I am too stressed things also go down the same path.

  • Shin splints is caused by a tight calf!

    Plenty of stretching and a sports massage will help!

  • Well, the latest report is that I rested for three days, and wore compression tights or socks. By Saturday there really was no pain at all, so Sunday I risked it and did a (hilly) eleven miles, with no problems at all. I think the problem probably was a bit of over-training: running three days in a row probably not advisable. Anyway, onwards and upwards - Aviemore Half on Sunday.
  • <a href="http://www.runnersworld.co.uk/localiser/member.asp?sp=&v=1&MemNo=626309" title="Visit Samsub01 member profile">Samsub01</a>: shin splints aren't just caused by tight calves, they are also caused by too much impact. If your 'stamping' whilst you jump or jumping badly for example (there are correct ways to jump and better ways to run!) you can cause yourself an impact force damage, shin splints being one of many injuries caused as a result.

    Whilst stretching can help, (and trust me, I'm a huge fan of stretching and swear by it for many things, namely DOMS) but it wont correct poor form or poor technique.

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