Shin splints! Heeeeeelp!!

I began running October 2011, in really rubbish trainers. They were so bad that my friends laughed at the slapping sound the made when I ran!! So I invested in some nikes, ran 2-3 times a week for about 3 months, gradually building myself up to 5 miles. Looking back now I did feel the shin pain build up, but just gathered this was just the usual muscle ache you experience after exercise. Then it began to be noticeably painfully whist running, and after Internet research I self diagnosed myself with shint splints and went to see a physio who treated me with ultra sound and tens machine. During the summer I worked abroad and was aware that the pain was still there, so when I returned in sept 2012 I went back to the physio and am STILL being treated for them now! They just won't go away! two weeks ago my Physio stopped treating my left leg as it was no longer painful, but today I felt again. I can't seem to do any exercise and meanwhile my fitness is going down the drain and my waistline is getting wider! Has anyone else suffered this long? Thanks


  • Aqua jogging might help. Not easy to get rid of shin splints I'm told. So good luck.
  • RicFRicF ✭✭✭

    Yes, 18 months of zero running until all pain disappeared.

  • WHats your running style like - are you still slapping your feet down - heel strike first?  Nike trainers could be cushioning the noise, even though your shins are still feeling the impact (even the most cushioned trainers wil take less than 10% of impact forces going thru your legs when running).  Try shortening your stride and relaxing your feet when running.  Don't point your toes up!

    I'm not a fan of electrotherapy(as lots of other therapists), I don't see much benefit (for the cost) and its obviously not treating the cause of the problem - only the symptoms.

    Don't take anti-inflammatory for longer than 72 hours, any longer and you are impeding the healing process. 

    Make sure you are stretching all calf and foot muscles (try sitting on heels to stretch foot of shin) 3 - 4 times p/day until symptoms subside.   Cycling and swimming are good because they work the calf and foot muscles without the same impact forces.

  • Agree with the above.  Especially the cycling. Keep on with small amounts of running unless the pain is ba - definitely with a short stride. The impact will help to strengthen the bones and ligaments... but obviously need to go very easy allow healing.

    If you used to run for a grand total of, say, 2 hours a week, then you could replace it with cycling, to keep your aerobics and leg strength up, with 10 minutes of running (2 separate 5 minute sessions).  Week on week, slowly substitute a little more running for some of the cycling.  No guarantees it will work.. and you have to be prepared to stop again if needed.

  • Thank you for advice, I do run heel first. Think I will try cycling and swimming until I feel a difference and then just build up will small runs.

    Also thanks for warning about ibruprofen, have been on max dose for two weeks! image

    Fingers crossed!
  • Neo g calf guards, they have been my saviour.
  • Hi Noir,

    I'm sorry to hear you have shin splint...I've been suffering with this pain almost 2 - 3 years and I was diagnose wrongly and was given wrong information. Frustration and not able to watch my's really painfull not able to run.

    TIll I actually made my own research how to get rid of them..basically you could do a few things  "Runners Therapist" has given most of the recommendation for you which is good. Alternatively I'm using this gel called "Fastum" try to google it and you shud be able to get it on your drug store.. just apply it mins before your may feel a slight pain but it shud disappear after 10 -15min run.

    Most important try to search for various workout to strenghten your Shin by going to Youtube.. or you can also try KT Tape taping method is also seems fine which I've been using now and I've have done 2 half marathon with that.. but always invest in a good pair of running shoe...I'm using Asics gel.

    Byw have you tried running barefoot? Does it help? Try all of these and most important try to change the style of running.. landing on forefoot instead of heels.. 

    Good luck..



  • Thank you for the advice above.

    Went to the gym twice last week, first time i managed 45min cycle (really low gear) and 10min run. I tried relaxing my feet as advised and short strides. Next gym session I managed 45mins cycle (really low gear) and 15min run. Was really pleased with this as although I could feel the shin splint pain after it only really lasted a couple of days and wasn't nagging. In between these gym sessions i also did an hours swim session, most exercise Ive done in months yippeeee!

    THEN.....went back to physio who said they felt no better but also no worse and recommended I did the same amount of exercise this week. So went to gym on thursday and within 5 mins on the treadmill I could really feel the pain in them so much that I gave up running and went back to cycling where I could still feel it. Legs have been sore since especially to touch. image 

    Going for a swim today but feel a bit back at square one. Thanks for the advice about the gel will see if i can order. have been using the KT tape and that does seem to ease it. 

    Frustration central!!!

  • Have you been trying calf rises and other exercises to strengthen the muscles? I found that really helpful when I had (admittedly mild) shin splints last autumn.

  • I was recently told by a physio that I had a very tight calf muscle and that was the reason for me getting shin splints in my left leg. I was just wondering if anyone knew how long this usually takes to sort out with physio etc? I appreciate everyone is different etc.

    I am just eager to get back out and about, but at the moment I always seem to go too far or try to go out too soon!


  • Nori... My advice try to do alot stretching before & after u'r run.. try performing this stretches on a daily basis (u may need to spend about 10 -15mins) i've been doing this alot and it does help me.. also try applying enough ice on the area where the pain is try. Good luck!! 


  • Hi Nori, do you only get the symptoms when you run (what Nike trainers are you using?) or do you get it on a daily basis?

    Kind regards,

    Ablefeet image

  • Get the Symtoms mainly after. I do feel it during running but this pain will ease the More continue to run. Strangely the most time i feel it is when I'm driving. I have a fairly long drive to work and by the time I get there I can feel it. Nike Pegasus.

    Thinking of buying a pair of Nike barefoots any experience from anyone or should I just bite the bullet and get fitted? I have a netrual foot.

    UPDATE though: I've ditched my physio I didn't want to as I've Spent so much in going but I just don't feel it's working for me.

    Downloaded an app called strong runner and have being doing the stretching exercises each day. I've also been going to yoga and not sure if its psychological but I feel this is helping. Thanks for all responses

    Did a slow pace short stride outside run on Friday and did 15mins, had minimal pain in legs and so have just got bk from a 45min swim.
  • Update. Was fitted for and bought som asics gels. Have been icing and stretching all week went out today and rean a mile and a half in new trainers with NO PAIN! Ive had no pain all day either. Trainers felt so nice!

    A very happy runner! image
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