Shin Splints

I have developed what I think is shin splints in my right leg after a few days tough training (20 miler + 2 x 8 miles with tough speedwork over 5 days).

My shin was very painful for 3 days and I was unable to walk properly. After using an ice pack for a few days the pain has eased somewhat but the problem has not cleared up completely.

I am supposed to be running the New York Marathon on 3rd Nov and am desparate to get back to training asap having already missed 5 days.

Anyone got any advice on what I should do. Should I continue to rest or start running again even though I may be in some pain? Should I be taking any supplements? I have tried Kuta but don't think it has helped much. I have also heard Calcium Ascorbate can help but haven't tried it. Any advice/thoughts would be really appreciated


  • I would give it another couple of days at least. Ibuprofen Gel is great for reducing the inflamation and the pain (although don't use it pre-run as it will mask the pain which could let you do more damage without realising it).

    When you do start running again, if possible run on grass or soft trail, or a track if you can stand the boredom. Keep the mileage low to start with and only build up if the pain doesn't get worse. You have 20 miles under your belt. Doing another 2 of those before the marathon would be ideal race wise, but pretty pointless if your shin is too sore on the day to run. Better slightly less fit and uninjured than really fit and in pain.
  • Nessie is right the only sure way to beat shin splints is to rest. I have suffered with them for the past couple of months it is such a frustrating injury. I find that ice application straight after training(never before)along with massage and anti- inflamatories is the best treatment. But prevention is always better than cure so ease yourself back into the running, you can always cross train to keep your cv up.

    I hope that this helps. I know what you are going through take it easy and it will all come good. Good luck for NY.

  • When I was really really bad - last winter - I bought Disposable Magnets from Boots - (I turned them over as I'm sure they have the polarity wrong way round) - stuck them gently over each sore spot then taped right the way round the leg with fabric strapping - starting one side of the Achilles Tendon (which must be kept untaped and free) and going round to the other side - over the front of the legs. At one stage I had 27ft of tape wound round my legs. It helped a lot - wasn't a cure - but reduced the pain - rested the sore muscles and enabled me to keep on running when all else had failed.

    I also once used Leg Ice from the farmers supply place - it's a kaolin mix which you're meant to wrap round horses legs to shrink and contract the legs after hard work. Very messy tho - MrSS complained loadly and I don't think it worked as well as the magents - certainly wasn't worth the grief!

    Someone in America suggested I took a supplement of Horse Chestnut seed extract - but it failed the Holland & Barretts test - I decided if they didn't sell it, it might be a bit dangerous - but this guy was certain it worked for him.

    Of course you should stop completely, rest and ice etc but.....!
  • If it's compartment syndrome caused by overpronation then supplements aren't really going to help. I suffer from this and the only way to cure properly is to fix the problem i.e. orthotics and physio. Stretching may help in the short term and icing will reduce inflamation, as will ibuprofen. Did you suddenly go out and run 36 miles in 5 days? If so, then it's no wonder it hurts! I would try resting for a while. I was forced to cut back recently, due to blisters, and it's made a huge improvement to my shins.
  • Thanks to everyone for their advice - I guess the key is rest but I am encouraged by I what I hear.

    I have brought some Ibuprofen gel - I think I'll wait until I get really desperate before I buy magnets and 27ft of tape!!

    Rest assured I didn't just go and run 36 miles - I had been averaging 40 miles a week without any problems but the three sessions I did were probably a bit harder than usual.

    Thanks again to you all
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