Shin Splints

Hi there,

I'm sorry if this has been done to death already but my training has ground to a halt due to shin splints. I've never had them before but these last 3 months have seen me having to stop training due the strange pain/ache feeling in my lower leg.

I've bought new trainers, tried stretching and even taken time off but all to no avail.

Any tips from you guys out there would be very much appreciated




  • Hi Chris, I suffered badly from shin splints but am happy to say that is now in my past albeit replaced by other injuries image  I managed to solve it in several ways.  Firstly I went to see a good physio.  She put me through 15 minutes of absolute agony as she carried out something called 'frictioning' on my shin to separate the inflamed tendons from my tibia.  The process encourages bloody flow in and helps repair the symptoms.  Several sessions of this really helped and it was money well spent.  I have heard good things about accupunture on this too.

    Second was addressing the cause.  You are right to get your shoes checked to ensure you have stability and support if needed (pronate or supinate).  The key though comes down to good old fashion stretching.  The jury is out on pre running stretches but for me, personally, it helped tremendously.  Shin splints, so I have been told, is often caused by overly tight calf muscles that don't give when running and subsequently cause trauma to the shins.  Do some warm up exercises first and then stretch out the calves.  There are lots of YouTube videos on calf stretching.  My particular favourite is where you sort of hang off a step.  Stand on a step or stair with half of your foot, including your heel off the back, then lower your heel down until you feel the stretch.  Do this before (gently) and lots after a run.  The stretches changed my life.

  • Cheers Nikos,

    I may have to visit a physio and see what they say

    Thanks again

  • Agree with . I've been struggling with shin splints for the last year or so and had my first physio session today. After an uncomfortable massage and ultrasound I feel like there is a solution on the way. Wish I had gone last year. Good luck

  • Hi there, I'm assuming I have shin splints, I have pain at the side of my shin and the pain travels around the back off my leg. I haven't run for nearly 2 weeks now. How long does recovery take?

  • Hi Christopher.  All this advice is really helpful and hands on treatment and stretches are important.

    Other thing you need to ensure though is that you address your stability as shin splints are often due to an issue with loading and that you are not maybe strong enough (especially at your trunk) to absorb the load from running. About 8 times your body weight.  Your calves and muscles in the front of the shin get tight to protect the body and lower back so stretches just eases the tightness but doesn't stop it coming back. 

    A physio and a running assessment can see if you are recruiting well enough through your core/gluts. If you are heel striking infront or collapsing at your trunk as you strike the floor you need to address these imbalances with strengthening otherwise you will continue to get problems in your shins or other points along the chain.  A physio will be able to help highlight these points and teach you appropriate exercises.  A running assessment would also be appropriate.  If not then try downloading the app coaches eye and get someone to video you to see.

    The clam or bridge exercises will be safe places to start but you will need specific advice to get the best results.

    A good physio with experience of treating runners will really help to address all aspects of your running and training - shoes, training programmes, hydration etc.

    Good luck - Gemma image

  • Hi,

    I have similar problem to the OP in that I recently started power walking after having a not so good medical through work.

    After 2 months of walking quickly every other morning for 30 minutes I progressed to 2 minutes jogging 3 minutes walking. However I then went from no pain at all to extreme pain in my shins image

    I've tried stretching my calfs etc for 10 minutes before jogging but no joy. I have had my gait analysed and bought the resulting trainers but the same issue persists. 

    I cant afford to visit a physio so maybe I will have to give up the jogging....I will however give the you tube videos kindly posted by Gemma a try first as I will be very sad to give up on jogging to try and get fit. 


  • Forget going to the physio privately.  Before laying out any cash go to the Gp who will  arrange for an x ray and then refer you to an orthopaedic consultant.  Only go to a physio if referred by the consultant.

    Ignore anyone and any website that says they can be cured in a few weeks or less.

  • I'm sorry that Surrey Runner has obviously not had a good experience with physio. 

    I do agree to ignore anything out there that says you will be cured in a few weeks or less as there are a lot of poor physio's, osteopaths, sports therapists etc claiming inappropriate sales pitches.  I appreciate who to see and where is a mind field and you might not get it right.  Beware of groupon deals etc too as these are often for newly qualified physio's so the quality of care may be poor.

    That said there are also some excellent physios out there that do provide a clear assessment and sound advice.  The advice by Surrey Runner can result in many people waiting unecessarily to go via GP's (generally very poor musculosketal knowledge), inappopriate investigations ( x-rays contain radiation and only exclude fractures but don't often even show stress responses or stress fractures- what you would be looking for with shin splints) and finally to a consultant (who 90% of the time recommends a physio for shin splints).  A timely and often unnecessary process.

    By seeing a good musculoskeletal physio first they can give you a clear diagnosis, majority of the time help resolve the problem without other intevention but also can determine if a referral to a consultant is necessary to exclude more serious problems.  We have a policy in our practice- if the problem is not improving in 2 sessions (when it should be) a referral is made to a consultant or recommendation to the GP for further investigations.

    Simon - you may need to include some slightly harder and more specific strengthening exercises to get back to jogging without pain but these you tube ones are pretty safe to get going on and will certainly help you wake up some of those buttock muscles!

    Good luck






  • If you follow my advice you won't waste a fortune for limited or no gain.  I have had shin splints (mtss) since April with minimal improvement despite regular physio sessions.

    Have seen two different private physios both of whom were experineced and supposedly specialised in sports injuries.  The first recemmeded that I run with a large overstride, the second recomened that I do a 10k race (was agony). Both recomened that I continue running.

     Best thing for shin splints is too get them checked by a doctor to see if there is a fracture and to simply cease all running for three months then try a little run.  If sore cease for longer.  Unfortunetely for the physio this kind of advice doesn't earn them much.  Only person on this forum who cliams to have fully recovered from shin splints stopped running for three years.

  • I have suffered with shin splints for around three years in total and agree that finding a cure can be very difficult.

    I am not medically trained so maybe my advice should be taken with caution, but I have managed to continue competing despite my shin splints.

    I am primarily a team sports player not a runner but recently I have started training for a 10k and noticed that the problem quickly got worse.

    In my opinion stretching is the key, lots of calf stretching (5+ times per day) however you prefer to do it, (on a step or heel ito the floor at leaning forward) and really push the stretch.

    A friend also shared another stretch I find very useful, sit back onto your heels and reach back and grab your toes. Pull your toes back up towards your shoulders straightening the ankle using as much force as you can tollerate. This is very painful if your shin splints are bad but it seems to release a lot of tension in the lower part of the shin.

    As I said I don't claim to be an expert but this seems to work for me. I occasionally run through the pain (not advised) but find that if I rest everytime it flares up I would spend more time resting than competing!


Sign In or Register to comment.