Shin Splints / Low Impact Runners

I am pretty sure I am suffering from shin splints at the moment, but don't want to stop running totally because of it.

My local gym has 'low impact' running machines are these 'safe' to use without aggravating the problem?

I have read all the other threads at the moment and they seem to talk about it being an ongoing problem. My calves/shins start hurting after a few minutes running, but after speeding up a little the pain seems to go away. It also does not last too long after running (10 minutes or so). Do these sound like shin splints?


  • Hi Krissy

    Exercising without impact is good news - whatever doesn't hurt is usually OK - the elliptical trainer / bike / rower and stepper have kept me going for 6 weeks without any loss of running fitness before now - I've just had to ease back into running slowly so as not to overload the legs again.

    Grass work -round and round a football pitch / sports groundis boring - but makes a huge difference as well to sore shins

    Try these sites for more info to help you work out what you've got / what to do about it

    I do loads of ankles flexes with resistances / ankle flexions / rotations / etc and they help as well.

    Just don't underestimate the value of grass - as I did for several months - then when someone said they'd run with me on grass - just to overcome my prejudice I think - I couldn't believe how much softer it was!

    Most important thing tho is to find out why you're getting them. If it's just a sudden increase in mileage then that's easily sorted - but for me it's been a huge range of biomechanical problems originating in quad imbalances - I've just come back from the physios as my shins have been sore for the first time in 6 months - and yes - my quads were wrong again - because I've skipped the remedial work in the gym for 2 weeks!! If I don't do c 2hrs remedial exercises a week I go wrong again - quickly!

    Orthotics have also made a HUGE difference to me - really well worth the price

    Good Luck

  • I also think I might be suffering from the dreaded shin splints. I've been running two or three times a week since the middle of August. last weekend I tried 4 miles for the first time and felt fine. Yesterday I did the same run, and today my shins are really hurting. I'm puzzled why I had no problems last weekend, but it's come on so suddenly today. I'm also panicking because I've just entered the Brighton 10K (my first) and I don't know whether or not to try and run when the shins stop hurting - I really would like to try and run 10K before the event! However, if I just cross train, would it be unwise to suddenly run further than I've run before in the race, in case it makes the problem worse? This is the first injury I've had, and I thought I was building up the mileage carefully, although I do have to run on pavements as there is nowhere safe to run on any other surface in the dark! I'd be grateful for any advice.
  • I also used to suffer badly from shin splints. I thought I would never be able to run without being in pain. I eventually went to see a podiatrist- the results are fantastic. Definately worth every penny.
  • I agree with what Shattered Shins says about the gym work, if you build up the leg muscles, particularly quads and hamstrings, then the shins wont take as much weight. i havent had shin splints, but i had a sore knee once as a junior, and my coach made me do strengthening exercises which worked... i've been injury free for 6 years thank God... and I'm sure it's because my thighs are really strong. So, Krissy, if it doesnt hurt, try tightening your quad muscles and relaxing them, that simple exercise can make them stronger, and in the meantime i'm not sure about the low impact machines, but they'll definitely be better than concrete.
    Elizabeth T, its difficult to run off road in the dark, but even if you use grass verges like they have on some roads, say for half the run, that will make a difference. also, purchasing the most cushioned shoe that's comfortable.
  • I am also suffering from sore shins, although they don't bother me when I run as much as when I have stopped. I,ve tried ice after running and also resting for 4 weeks which was absolute hell, especially when my training partner was still out doing her bit. I've also bought new trainers which I thought had done the trick as I have been pain free for a while, but I can feel the pain starting to build up again. Now someone has suggested orthotics, but they are so expensive, what if they don't work?. Any suggestions?
  • What are orthotics?

    I'm totally fed up and i've only stopped for 4 ays so far due to shin splins... I've been limping constantly and walkings painful!!

    Goin tae see the doc tomorrow, I REALLY don't want to stop running and I don't know what other exercises to do (not a member of a gym anymore)...

    Ho Hum.....this doc better sort me out...I'm going maaaaadddd, feel dead lazy an all!
  • Orthotics are insoles for your trainers that correct your alignment.
    I have flat feet and have had my Orthotics for about 4 weeks.
    I tried to do too much too soon with them and my Shins were sore for 4 days straight.

    I have stopped any Hi impact work and am breaking them in gently.
    I did a 5km charity run on Sunday and my Knees (my initial problem) didnt hurt at all. ( oh and the fun run was on grass!)
    The shins hurt for 1/2 hr and are now ok.

    So I hope in a few weeks to start runnng twice a week, only short runs and see how it goes.

    Orthotics cost around £150 plus there will be chiropodist/podiatrist consultation fees.
    But well worth it!
  • Do you have to wear orthotics when not training? I ran marathon in 2000 with them, but have got mild shin splints evry subaequent year forcing me to pull out of training. Problem with wearing orthotics when not running is finding shoes to fit; and what about summer sandals??

    Any suggestions?
  • Since my last posting I had to go and visit a 2nd Podiatrist to get a 2nd opinion as my problems were not solved!

    Im now having physio and going back to get new orthotics through Premier Podiatry.
    I have one leg shorter than the other!!

    From what I have been told, you should wear your orthotics constantly! I have trouble finding normal shoes and will struggle even more now that one will be thicker than the other!

    To be honest I think that the odd day or evening out without them shouldnt hurt!

    As for Shin Splints they seem to be a common unjury to every runner i have spoken too!!
  • There are 2 other things to perhaps consider in addition to all the good advice above about strengthening/ stretches/etc,,

    Firstly- would consider sorbthane insoles. I was getting SS- but since using these do not seem to have a problem. Most good sports shops should have them (running shops i mean).
    Also i now hose down my legs after a run c cold water or ice shins/legs afterwards to reduce inflammation. Seems to help.

    If getting other injuries as well woud consider a podiatry/biomechanics assessment to see if could be impropoper shoes/etc.. or poss need for orthotics- But personally i would try the stretches/strngthening/insoles/ice first.

    Good luck
  • I have been suffering from shin splints since I started running 20 odd years ago. As running was not my main sport I was only running twice a week which didnt bother them too much. Started to do a lot more over two years ago and they came on very quickly. As the pain was not too intense I carried on and run through it. Finally went to a podiatrist and found out I was pronating 17 % (apparently the average is 4-7 %) I have the orthotics which should cure the problem however I have not run for 11 months now and are still feeling pain and have been told not to start back unyil I am cured. I have tried stretching etc but this just makes the shins worse. Are there any other runners out there who have taken a long time to recover? My advice to anyone suffering is do not try to run through them as it does not work !
  • I've suffered from shin splints for years on and off. I find frozen peas help. I put them on my shins for 30 mins after each run and I use the x trainer in the gym twice a week for an hour each time- much harder than a run!!!! I've ran 2 marathons under 3hrs 30mins doing this.xx
  • Try a sports massage they help a lot with shin splints,it helps getting the fibres that are stuck to the tibula off.Painful when getting worked on but will benefit in the long runimage
  • I was thinking of booking myself in for a sports massage- you've just made my mind up- pass me the phone!!!image
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