Strengthening Exercises for Shin Splints

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Not improved(2)
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Almost cured(2)
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  • 29
    Dec2015
    • Injury Status Cured

    Treatment Ratings

      Cured
      Ice, Supportive Shoes, Stretching, Strengthening Exercises, Proper Running Form

    Check running form, try to run on softer surfaces, maybe buy new shoes, ice for 15-20 min, strengthen anterior tibialis, and write the alphabet with your ankles. I may be missing something, but these are the main things I have done along with appropriate stretching.


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  • 29
    Dec2015
    • Injury Status Cured

    Treatment Ratings

      Cured
      Rest, Supportive Shoes, Strengthening Exercises
      Worsened
      Orthotics

    Rest. When you do heal up, I'm a huge believer in minimalistic shoes and barefoot running to strengthen up your calves. Jumping rope barefoot is also a great exercise. I was prone to shin splits playing football and that was the only thing that made a difference. Orthotics were just a crutch that allowed my feet to get weaker.


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  • 29
    Dec2015
    • Injury Status Cured

    Treatment Ratings

      Cured
      NSAIDs - Anti Inflammatory drugs, Ice, Massage, Strengthening Exercises

    I'm a track coach and this is a guide I've written up for my athletes for treating the actual physical issue. There could be issues in your form, shoes, feet etc. that make you prone to this kind of thing but in some cases it's just simply from imbalances in strength in the muscles.
    Shin Splints 101
    Some basic shin splint care is based around 3 things:
    � Strengthening Exercises
    � Massage
    � Dealing with Inflammation
    Strengthening:
    Exercise 1 � Place your butt against a wall. Place your feet together and about 2-3 ft in front of the wall. Now raise your toes, keeping your heels stationary. Raise your toes 10 times.
    Exercise 2 � Keeping your heels together and your feet the same distance from the wall, point your toes outward. Raise your toes 10 times, as high as they can go.
    Exercise 3 � Now point your toes inward, raise your toes 10 times, as high as they can go. Repeat 1-3 2 times total.
    Feet Position should look like
    !!
    \ /
    / \
    Calf Raises: Stand with your feet together and go up to your toes 2x15, again full range of motion (all the way up, all the way down)
    Toe Crunches: Exactly what it sounds like. Crunch your toes 50 times in the morning, 50 times at night. Increase the numbers as you feel you are getting stronger.
    Massage:
    Grab some hand cream or something like that and grab a nice big glob in your hands. Lather up your shins and dig in, make sure you really dig in and break up adhesions in your muscles, digging on both sides of the shin bone, work out your calf as well. This isn�t meant to be comfortable, really dig in there, you will know if you�re in the right spot mostly but how sore it is. You don�t want to kill it but you should work through the discomfort a little bit and feel it loosening up a bit.
    Inflammation: Ice, Ice and more Ice. Get a good icepack, heck a bag of peas or corn will work if you�re in a pinch. After you massage make sure you ice for at least 15 minutes on the shins. 15 minutes on, 15 minutes off � 2 or 3 times while watching TV at night will go along way to helping!
    If your shins are really bad and I mean really bad you can take some Aleve or Advil which are anti-inflammatory, Aleve is recommended. 2 Aleve pills in the morning and 2 before you go to bed. Take it for 3-4 days. You don�t want to take the pills for too long obviously but it will help with the initial inflammation if they are almost unbearable.
    This isn�t going to be an instant fix, you really need to stick with the strengthening exercises doing them daily and massage every other day or everyday if you feel if it�s necessary. A few weeks of this and your shins should be feeling better!


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  • 29
    Dec2015
    • Injury Status Cured

    Treatment Ratings

      Cured
      Supportive Shoes, Stretching, Strengthening Exercises, Proper Running Form

    A runner I looked up to told me three big points that have helped me with shin splints. 1. Run lightly. Almost tip toe and land on the balls of your feet. Form is crucial. Listen to the noise you're making. It shouldn't be very loud and there should be no dragging. 2. Exercise and stretch. Stretch your calves by propping your feet against a wall, fence, post whatever and leaning forward keeping your legs straight. Another is push against an object focusing on keeping your feet flat on the ground far behind you. Stretch your shins (this works best barefoot) by pointing your toes into the ground and rolling them to point back. Another is sitting down and pointing your toes forward and reaching out. 3. Keep your lower legs strong. This may sound like common sense or it might sound weird. But do your calf raises and range of motion work. Something he told me is lay a small towel (a dish towel works great) on the ground and stand on one end and pull it in with your toes. Repeat a few times.
    Also keep up with your shoes. It's expensive but it's the most important piece of equipment. Barefoot/minimalist shoes are increasing popularity. In my opinion this is a good thing. It is more natural. I like Brooks and Saucony but one shoe does not fit all especially when it comes to running shoes. Ask an expert at the store. Hope this helps! Keep running


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  • 29
    Dec2015
    • Injury Status Cured

    Treatment Ratings

      Cured
      Orthotics, Supportive Shoes, Stretching, Strengthening Exercises

    I used to develop shin splints all the time until a took a cardio course that forced me to do 40-60 min of cardio 3 times a week. In order to fix this I first got new shoes with good insoles and started focusing on stretching my calves and trying to strengthen my anterior tib (muscles on front of shin). The way I built up to distance running was using a stationary cycling bike to build my endurance, progressed to elliptical to get used to the motions of running down with the endurance I gained, then onto the track. When I first started running didn't go very far distance wise, but I was able to jog for the entire workout without pain or being too exhausted.


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  • Hana Shin Splints

    • Age n/a
    • Female
    29
    Dec2015
    • Injury Status Cured

    Treatment Ratings

      Almost Cured
      Rest, Stretching, Strengthening Exercises
      Not Improved
      Taping

    I had this a few times before. I just rested for about a week. Tried taping but it didn't help. I found out that the most helpful (for me) to avoid shin splints were the following: (1) adequate stretching of the gastrocnemius and soleus muscles (using 2 different lunge-like routines --> simple but hard to explain here; but you can search online how it is done); and (2) strengthening of the soleus muscles(by simply raising myself on tiptoes several times).


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  • 14
    Mar2008
    • Injury Status In Pain

    Treatment Ratings

      Improved
      Supportive Shoes
      Not Improved
      Ice, Stretching, Strengthening Exercises

    I have killer shin splints too, and I went to a store to be fitted for shoes, and they helped a little bit, but it still hurts really badly on one leg, and it feels like I have a major bruise on one spot.

    How do you tape the arches? I havent been able to run for three months and it's killing me. No matter how much I ice, stretch, or strengthen, my right leg doesnt seem to respond. Im going to a physical therapist this week or next, but I was curious to the taping method..perhaps it will help me to run again. I miss the runner's high..not even a good pump beats it. gah


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  • Anonymous Shin Splints

    • Age n/a
    • 5' 7"
    28
    Jul2017
    • Injury Status Recovering
    • Physical activity per week 4-8 hours
    • Chronicity 0 - 6 Months
    • Repeat injury? Yes

    Treatment Ratings

      Improved
      NSAIDs - Anti Inflammatory drugs, Orthotics, Strengthening Exercises
      Not Improved
      Physical Therapy, Shockwave

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  • 29
    Dec2015
    • Injury Status Cured

    Treatment Ratings

      Cured
      Strengthening Exercises

    I walk on my toes for like twenty paces and on my heels for the same amount of paces before a run. I haven't had shin splints since I started doing this.


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  • 29
    Dec2015
    • Injury Status Cured

    Treatment Ratings

      Cured
      Strengthening Exercises

    Advice:sitting down, put a 5 or 10 pound weight on your toes with your foot out in front and flex your foot up so that you raise the weight.
    I was a high-jumper and basketball player in highschool, and got some pretty mean shin splints. When I asked my coaches about it, they explained it by saying the calf muscles are disproportionately stronger than the muscles that run along the sides of your shin. The calf muscles flex, and pull the muscles away from you shin, which is what hurts so bad! They said strengthening the shin muscles would help, and it absolutely did!


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  • 29
    Dec2015
    • Injury Status Cured

    Treatment Ratings

      Cured
      Strengthening Exercises, Proper Running Form

    Toe taps to strengthen the muscles in the shin did it for me. My old roomate swore by them and they worked wonders. He used to do them by leaning back against a wall, putting his feet about a foot away from the wall and just tapping away. I used to do them at work while seated at my desk and that did it.

    My shin splints were caused by running on hard surfaces and poor running form (I would heel strike really hard when i would get tired while running).


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  • 29
    Dec2015
    • Injury Status Recovering

    Treatment Ratings

      Almost Cured
      Rest, Strengthening Exercises

    About 2 years ago I started running and playing squash, and I was fairly overweight, so unsurprisingly got shin splints to the point where I could barely stand it was so painful. I didn't see anybody about it, I just took about 2/3 months off any impact sport (squash, running etc) and just started doing things like swimming, cycling and going to the gym, where I would primarily work on strengthening legs doing squats etc. I found that losing weight, strengthening my legs combined with resting my shins really helped.
    I have recently started getting them again in the last week or so, which is the first time since last time, so I am going to just rest for a bit and get back to the gym.


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  • 29
    Dec2015
    • Injury Status Cured

    Treatment Ratings

      Cured
      Rest, Supportive Shoes, Strengthening Exercises

    I've always been fairly active but more cycling/weightlifting that anything with a lot of impact on the legs. When I started playing squash again about 3 years ago I got terrible shin splints, I was losing games because of them! I took a few months off from any running/squash worked on strengthening my legs, bought some proper squash shoes and lost a few kgs and havent had any problems with shin splints for well over a year now


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  • 29
    Dec2015
    • Injury Status Cured

    Treatment Ratings

      Cured
      Strengthening Exercises

    I used to get shin splints as well, I got a number of different diagnoses from physios too. I think there are a lot of potential causes and you need to try different approaches/techniques to see what's causing them for you.

    This might be very specific but I'll share the cause of mine on the off chance it's of any use to you. Through trial and error I eventually worked out that my shin splints were caused by really tight calf muscles which were getting rock hard when i'd exercise. This meant that calf muscles would pull on the tendons for long periods without relaxing and give rise to shin splints.

    A combination of changing my running style, to land on the balls of my feet more and building up my calf muscles helped me get rid of my shin splints.


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  • 29
    Dec2015
    • Injury Status Cured

    Treatment Ratings

      Cured
      Rest, Strengthening Exercises

    I used to get shin splints when I was a runner in high school. The issue was over-development of the calf muscle with underdevelopment of the tibialis anterior. A nice exercise (when u recover, bc its about prevention) is to get a moderately heavy dumbell, put your foot under it and start doing curls using the tibalis anterior (higher reps, less resistance. you don't need to go crazy with it). It's kind of the same problem you'd get if you just exercised your biceps and never did tricep exercises to balance out (& vice-versa): same principle.


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  • 29
    Dec2015