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How to overcome shin splints!

Discussion in 'Common Training Injuries' started by codislife, Apr 14, 2020.

  1. codislife

    codislife New Member

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    How I overcame shin splints. Take this advice with a grain of salt as i am not a physio, nor diagnostician.

    Firstly, at the first instance of SP (shin splints), ice them straight after your run, and take a couple of days off. Although annoying it really can elevate and stop them from coming back as it could just be fatigue.
    Icing for 20 mins each and putting them in hot water afterwards, e.g. a bath will get most of the pain away from the get go; don't get this mixed up with being healed.

    So you've rested and iced for 48 hours, and theres no pain when walking. Do the hop test, if you can't hop on your toes without a dull pain within the shin muscles then continue to ice them. If you are hopping on one leg and there is a sharp pain in a focused or dominant spot it may be a stress fracture! If there is a sharp pain, give it a couple of days and if the same pain persists seek medical advice. Id go to a private physio first as this wont be on your medical record.

    If theres no pain when hopping, what you want to do now, with icing every few hours or so is start to stretch. Do dynamic stretches, what'd id advise for this is standing on the stairs heel over the step and lowering your heel down slowly and assist yourself up at the bottom to the contracted position, rinse and repeat. Foam rolling and getting rid of tender muscle and those knots in your calves will increase mobility in your ankle and calf considerably doing half the job of stretching for you!

    If you've done this and another 48hours or so has gone by now is time to press on the muscle that is causing you pain, if this feels as if it is bruised, tender and there is a stronger pain when you press on it revert back to the icing and stretching again. If there is no substantial pain there, heres the funky part. On the muscle you're going to start scrapping away the scarred muscle tissue thats connecting to your bone causing the pain. Its pretty much Gua Sha, look it up.
    Get a highlighter, a paint brush, something like that with a fair edge on it, moisturise your leg and rub it with the object. Scrape away with the edge, put pressure on it, but not too much! This should get rid of 95% of pain from your shins when you go back to running as all the pulling from the muscle thats scarred and connected to your bone will be gone. This helped me more than anything in my journey to pain free running.

    When you go back to running after this (advisable to be an easy day) and the pain comes back this could either be a) a form issue or b) a strength issue. If its the former this will be from supination, pronation or heel striking. With heel striking, away to fix this is go onto a treadmill and put incline high and run on your forefoot (can do this with a hill too) when you go back to a normal grade of incline your inclination will be to run on the forefoot. If its the latter (a good way to check is either look down when running, or looking at the wear in your running shoes) if this is the case then tape your ankle. Look up how to tape ankle for injury. It may feel weird but it will give your ankles the extra stability and start to emphasise the proper 'stiffness' necessary for running mobilising and strengthen the muscles around your feet, once you've done this for a few weeks only tape your ankles on the fast days, and eventually stop completely. If your achilles is feeling painful when running, do calf raises every time you pass the stairs say 20 reps each side to strengthen them with a good squeeze at the top, as it will be taking impact as your calves can't manage the stress.

    Hopefully this will at least help someone, as a long term sufferer of shin splints I tried everything (and i mean everything!) These steps helped me not only not have them, but if they do come back get rid of them again within 72 hours.

    Again, please please please if the pain feels abnormal and more like a fracture go and see a physician or seek the appropriate medical advice, if you're worried about it being on your med record fork some cash out go private and explain the situation. Always better to be safe than sorry. Full disclosure is expected in the RM so do be advised.

    Summary:
    1)As soon as SP come on, stop, ice for 20 mins and put them in hot water afterwards e.g. bath
    2)Ice every few hours for 20 mins and stretch calves, foam roll them get rid of knots in calves
    3)Hop test; hop one leg if theres a dull pain continue step 2, sharp pain in a focused area seek medical advice (private to stop it going on record if worried)
    4) if no pain on hop test, then scrape scar tissue off following the gua sha method (google)
    5)go back running at an easy pace, if pain has gone well done, you've passed the ole test of shin splints. If comes back, check form. If you're heel striking, go onto an incline (hill or treadmill) and run landing on forefoot, creating muscle memory and the feeling of landing on the forefoot for when you return to flat. If your feet are supinating or pronating tape ankles (google again for sprain) and get your ankles to stiffen and muscles in feet and surrounding areas to develop. If your achilles is hurting do some calf raises!

    Sorry for the long thread but these 3 steps really did help me, and it'd be a shame not to share!

    Yours sincerely

    A former shin splint sufferer!
     
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  2. codislife

    codislife New Member

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    Sorry for the long post, but in my opinion is worth the read!
     
  3. Royal2010

    Royal2010 Commando Training Wing Instructor

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    I too, suffered MASSIVELY from shin splints when training for PRMC.
    I even had written a big thread on here on techniques and stuff I had tried to remedy it and it got good feedback and seemed to help others. Unfortunately, the posts were lost as I requested to purge all my old material several years ago.

    The main points (from what I remember) seemed to be hit in this post though and should be considered as a sticky for people to discuss this bloody awful nuisance of an injury.

    I remember constantly icing, elevating, tiger balm-ing and resting. I cracked my PRMC still whilst recovering from chronic shin splints (struggled to walk properly with them). Strangely enough, wearing the issued boots from PRMC seemed to stop the flare. (by all means not saying that could be the solution for somebody else, a change of footwear by chance corrected me so seeing a podiatrist is also a good idea!)

    I remember getting the feeling along the inside of my shins around week 9 in training but it went.... And went pretty much for good ( I only get a mild form of it if I crack long long runs now)
     
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  4. codislife

    codislife New Member

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    Yep, I had it intolerably posterior and anterior! Anterior were easy to get rid of posterior were a nightmare. The taping of the ankle is similar i presume to the stability of wearing boots on the ankles, so maybe thats why? It was a trick I was given when i struggled to proper my form by an ex pti
    It really is just is one of those things, another reason i struggled hugely with them is because I was training in the gym a bro split from 16, so being 5'8 and lean 98kg or so didnt help at all.
    Id like to think, that now if you got them again you'd take the proper precautions to sack them off within a few days with the experiences you've endured with them, and hopefully this post will help others not have to go through the same pains-staking time of trial and error themselves to get back to training sooner!