Shin Splints Running And What To Do About Them
The one thing that is sure to come for many after a lot of running is some good ole shin splints. You get shin splints running from the repetitive nature of running and overuse of your lower leg muscles that now only have to stabilize your ankle and leg, but also absorb the force from each foot strike. The bad news is that shin splints will not magically go away because you want them to. The good news is that these shin splints can be corrected in a variety of different ways.
Symptoms of Shin Splints Running
- Running becomes painful for lower legs and progressively gets worse
- Hurts to touch shins especially after running
- Posterior tibialis is so tight that it is sore to touch
- Can become so bad that you can’t even run anymore
The symptoms of shin splints running are not always that evident because of how slowly they can develop. One day when running you will begin to feel slight pain, but it never starts off bad enough to stop your runs at first. Know that this is the best time to act and start making changes to get better. If you don’t the pain will most likely get worse.
Increasing your volume of running at this point will only make matters worse, but it is what most runners do. The key to fighting an overuse injury is managing the pain by managing your workload and being proactive with getting treatment. Shin splints running through your tibia can be fixed.
Cause of Shin Splints From Running
The cause of this injury is too much stress on the shaft of your tibia bone causing the bone to break away until it becomes a fracture slowly. The added stress often comes from a poor running form or weak muscles in the lower leg.
It is worth seeing a health care provider that also offers services like gait analysis or getting a running coach to help you improve your form. When you heel strike and roll into over pronation quickly with each step, it often strains the lower leg muscles. Overstriding is another way shin splints running can soon take over. The reason is that when you strike too far in front of your cent of mass, your plantar flex into the ground and your breaking and slowing yourself down with each stride. This is not good for your speed or your shin splints.
Weak lower leg muscles are another cause of shin splints. The reason for this is because to run it requires hitting the ground with more force than walking. When you do this, your lower leg muscles and foot muscles need to be able to stabilize and keep your leg still to absorb force as efficiently as possible. When these muscles are weak, they get tired, and that force is put on the shin bone instead.
Treatment of Shin Splints from Walking
- Find an excellent sports medicine provider on 9INE POINT Health
- Decrease amount of running done per day
- Tibialis anterior and posterior strengthening
- Ice for acute pain day to day
- Use of orthotics
- Run in better shoes
- Rehab routine
- Improve posture when running
Find an Excellent Sports Medicine Provider on 9INE POINT Health
You may not consider yourself to be an athlete but you are one, and that needs you need to see a sports medicine professional. Sports medicine providers know a lot of athletes that have shin splints and need to get them to go away urgently. We bring this point up first because seeing one of these providers it the fastest route to health. Here are some examples of good options:
- Massage Therapist
- Athletic Trainer
- Physical Therapist
Finding a healthcare provider is always your best bet because they will be able to walk you through everything you need to do to get this feeling better. Use the search database on 9INE POINT Health to find all of this information.
What Skills You Should Be Searching For
- Active Release Technique
- Functional Movement Screen
Decrease Running Volume
If you do decide to go this route, it should only be temporarily to get the pain to go away as you get treatment or do rehab. There are rare cases where an athlete needs to stick with doing less volume because their body can’t handle the higher volumes. You can still be successful this way, but this is usually not the case.
Sometimes problems can start with increasing volume too quickly. If you have not been running much and then all a sudden, you run 100 miles a week that may be too much too fast. Instead only increase your volume once your body has adapted to the capacity you are currently at. By increasing your volume slowly, you significantly reduce your risk of shin splints from walking.
Is another example of a temporary fix. The purpose of ice is to reduce pain and inflammation. The problem is that ice does not fix the cause of shin splints. The ice acts as a band-aid. You can use ice when you deem it necessary but your best bet is going to be to fix the cause of your injury.
If you are in the thick of your running season, then you should be icing daily to reduce inflammation and get through. In the long run, though you should have a game plan for making sure that your shin splints go away for good.
Think about all of the shapes of feet in the world. A lot of people buy the nicest looking Nikes, but you should consider some other brands like Mizuno, New Balance, and Asics for shoes that fit your feet better.
- Skinny Feet
- Long Feet
- Wide Feet
- Long Toes
- Short Toes
- Chubby Feet
- Flat Feet
- High Arches
One of the best reasons to see a health care provider is to get help choosing the shoes that are best for your feet. Shoes that fit your feet right will make a huge difference in all of your lower leg pain because your feet are the contact point with the ground. All force generated to move your body forward comes through your feet. The next best option for getting a healthcare provider to help you is going to a running store. Running stores can be helpful but not as beneficial because they may not know what is best for your long-term health.
Doing rehab by far is going to be the most work, but as a runner, it will be easier than what you are used to grinding through. A big reason you are experiencing shin splints running is that your lower leg muscles are weak. The further you run the longer and harder your muscles have to work to stabilize, and they get tired just like any other muscle. Once you start running more, they now have to do work they are not used to doing, and they get tired quickly.
The exercises below are great examples of things runners can do to increase the strength and stability of their lower legs. If you want to succeed in rehab, you need to make sure that they are a part of a long-term routine. If you don’t do them over the long haul, the shin splints will come back as soon as you stop because you are feeling better. These exercises target these main muscles:
- Shin Muscle (tibialis anterior)
- Shin Muscle Behind Tibia (tibialis posterior)
All of the tasks are meant to be done with control and should always be done with a comfortable weight or resistance to begin. The goal is to slowly strengthen the muscles over time. You want to be able to do high reps when you are doing these because the goal is to get these muscles to be able to stabilize and endure more.
No More Shin Splints Running
Runners are tough athletes, but the downside of that is these overuse injuries often get much better before they get worse. The mentality of always trying to tough things out is the injury cause here. If you feel pain and start taking the actions mentioned in this article, you will be able to avoid the worst scenario of shin splints which is a stress fracture of the tibia bone. Whether you find a provider on 9INE POINT Health or you decide to do your rehab, something must be done today.
What If You Can’t Get Rid of Your Shin Splints Running On Your Own?
Sometimes you can ice all you want, but a muscle is in pain because another area is not working or because it is protecting you. With the hips, for example, your back may be hurting because your psoas is doing too much work and it is also tight. The psoas may be doing too much work because your other hip flexors are not activating correctly. The chain reaction could keep going.
Sometimes you need the help of a sports medicine provider. Sports medicine providers are used to working with athletes that need to get results quickly, to get back on the field. If you are not an athlete, I am sure that you still want quick results.
There are many different options you can go with when looking for a provider. You could get a chiropractor, massage therapist, physical therapist or many other options. The key is finding someone you trust and that you are excited to work with.
How to Find The Best Healthcare Providers for Shin Splints Running
9INE POINT Health is the best place to find the health care providers you need for any injuries. It does not matter where you are hurting; a 9INE POINT Health provider will be able to get you healthy again. 9INE POINTallows you to find the best local providers and compare them quickly using the 9INE POINT Number.
If you have no idea what you need, but you know you need something, 9INE POINT Health is an injury guide, and you will get helped through the process. We make it easier for you to find the information and the person you are looking for.
Skills to Look for in a Healthcare Provider for Shin Splints Running:
- Active Release Technique
- Graston Technique
- Fascial Stretch Therapy
- Corrective exercises
- Dry Needling
- Sports Background
- Functional Movement Screen
- And more
KHO Health was acquired by was acquire by 9INE POINT in the summer of 2019 and is now referred to as 9INE POINT Health.