Supposed Shin Splints - PLEASE READ


Well-Known Member
Oct 1, 2018
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I have been encouraged to write an account of my recent lower leg problems in order to help others who may be suffering from the same or a similar issue.

Firstly I would just like to mention that "shin splints" require a 3-month training diary, so please don't mention it to your AFCO or doctor until you have eliminated every other option you can think of.

For the last month and a half to two months I have been suffering from lower leg pain around the shin along with calf tightness.

No matter how much I rested, iced, elevated, compressed, foam rolled and stretched; the pain would always come back when I started running or walking over long distances.

From the little I read online, I self-diagnosed the pain as "shin-splints" (as I'm sure many others who are reading this have). Initially to fix this issue I went through all the recommended recovery techniques stated above, along with buying myself a pair of new running shoes after having my gait analysed. Upon returning to running after a 3-4 week break, soon after I began the pain was just as bad if not worse than before.

So being naive I ran though the pain for a few more runs (achieving some of my best times for the 1.5 mile return and 10k which made me think the pain wasn't a problem as it didn't hinder my performance) before letting myself understand that I must be doing some damage.

So I booked a physio appointment (which I had last night) to have a look at the cause of the pain and what I can do to start recovering. Pretty soon after arriving she had me doing various exercises testing my balance, she had it pretty much nailed down to a strength deficit in various muscles around my calf, ankle and foot. Which was 'offloading' the forces of running onto areas of the lower leg which shouldn't be used for this purpose, therefore creating pain as the muscles struggled to adapt to the stress and force.

I have been given exercises to strengthen this and she is positive that I will be fit and healthy for my PRMC on the 2nd April.

As she used to be the head physio for the German national rugby team she had seen similar problems many times in the past and it hadn't stopped a certain person, who had a much more severe version of my issue from making it onto the national team, which gave me hope about my ability to fix myself and perform just as well as everyone else throughout recruit training.

In short what I would recommend is:
1) Begin with the R.I.C.E recovery scheme along with specific stretches and foam rolling the calf muscles

2) While doing this make an appointment to see a physio privately (as there will be no medical audit trail)

3) Depending on what your Physio has said, whether its shin splints or not, proceed to let your GP/AFCO know of your issue so it can be taken down the official route

I hope this helps,


Royal Marines Commando. Crossed the Bar 13/04/2021
Oct 23, 2008
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Could help to use the search function.

Shin Splints

Shin splints, the catch-all term for lower leg pain that occurs below the knee either on the front outside part of the leg (anterior shin splints) or the inside of the leg (medial shin splints), are the bane of many athletes, runners, tennis players, even dancers. They often plague beginning runners who do not build their mileage gradually enough or seasoned runners who abruptly change their workout regimen, suddenly adding too much mileage, for example, or switching from running on flat surfaces to hills.

The nature of shin splints, also known as medial tibial stress syndrome (MTSS), most often can be captured in four words: too much, too soon.

Identifying symptoms of shin splints

Shin pain doesn’t always mean you have shin splints. It might be a sign of some other problem. The following are two conditions that are sometimes mistakenly diagnosed as shin splints.

Pain on the anterior (outside) part of the lower leg may be compartment syndrome—a swelling of muscles within a closed compartment—which creates pressure. To diagnose this condition, special techniques are used to measure the amount of pressure. Sometimes surgical “decompression” is required. The symptoms of compartment syndrome include leg pain, unusual nerve sensations, and eventually muscle weakness.

Pain in the lower leg could also be a stress fracture (an incomplete crack in the bone), which is a far more serious injury than shin splints. A bone scan is the definitive tool for diagnosing a stress fracture. However, there are clues you can look for that will signal whether or not you should get a bone scan.

The pain of shin splints is also more generalized than that of a stress fracture. Press your fingertips along your shin, and if you can find a definite spot of sharp pain, it’s a sign of a stress fracture. Additionally, stress fractures often feel better in the morning because the bone has rested all night; they often feel worse in the morning because the soft tissue tightens overnight. Shin splints are also at their most painful when you forcibly try to lift your foot up at the ankle and flex your foot.

Common causes of shin splints

There can be a number of factors at work, such as overpronation (a frequent cause of medial shin splints), inadequate stretching, worn shoes, or excessive stress placed on one leg or one hip from running on cambered roads or always running in the same direction on a track. Typically, one leg is involved and it is almost always the runner’s dominant one. If you’re right-handed, you’re usually right-footed as well, and that’s the leg that’s going to hurt.

The most common site for shin splints is the medial area (the inside of the shin). Anterior shin splints (toward the outside of the leg) usually result from an imbalance between the calf muscles and the muscles in the front of your leg, and often afflict beginners who either have not yet adjusted to the stresses of running or are not stretching enough.

But what exactly is a shin splint? There’s no end-all consensus among sports scientists, and theories have included small tears in the muscle that’s pulled off the bone, an inflammation of the periosteum [a thin sheath of tissue that wraps around the tibia, or shin bone], an inflammation of the muscle, or some combination of these. Fortunately, medical experts agree on how to treat them.

Treatment of shin splints

Experts agree that when shin splints strike you should stop running completely or decrease your training depending on the extent and duration of pain. Then, as a first step, ice your shin to reduce inflammation. Here are some other treatments you can try:

Gently stretch your Achilles if you have medial shin splints, and your calves if you have anterior shin splints. Also, try this stretch for your shins: Kneel on a carpeted floor, legs and feet together and toes pointed directly back. Then slowly sit back onto your calves and heels, pushing your ankles into the floor until you feel tension in the muscles of your shin. Hold for 10 to 12 seconds, relax and repeat.

In a sitting position, trace the alphabet on the floor with your toes. Do this with each leg. Or alternate walking on your heels for 30 seconds with 30 seconds of regular walking. Repeat four times. These exercises are good for both recovery and prevention. Try to do them three times a day.

If you continue running, wrap your leg before you go out. Use either tape or an Ace bandage, starting just above the ankle and continuing to just below the knee. Keep wrapping your leg until the pain goes away, which usually takes three to six weeks. “What you’re doing is binding the tendons up against the shaft of the shin to prevent stress,” Laps says.

Consider cross-training for a while to let your shin heal. Swim, run in the pool or ride a bike.

When you return to running, increase your mileage slowly, no more than 10 percent weekly.

Make sure you wear the correct running shoes for your foot type specifically, overpronators should wear motion-control shoes. Severe overpronators may need orthotics.

Have two pairs of shoes and alternate wearing them to vary the stresses on your legs.

Avoid hills and excessively hard surfaces until shin pain goes away completely, then re-introduce them gradually to prevent a recurrence.

If you frequently run on roads with an obvious camber, run out and back on the same side of the road. Likewise, when running on a track, switch directions.

If you are prone to developing shin splints, stretch your calves and Achilles regularly as a preventive measure.

Suggest you follow the link for everything you need to know about ‘shin splints’.


Well-Known Member
Oct 1, 2018
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Could help to use the search function.
I've read that post previously, however @CHUB! Encouraged me to write my own account on the off chance someone in a similar position could benefit from it. To the best of my knowledge that post didn't mention anything about a muscular imbalance.

It might be specific to you, however I’d list the exercises the physio gave you, just on the off chance it will help someone

I'll edit the post later and try and describe them haha


New Member
Jan 17, 2019
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Yeah I made the error of saying I had shin splints during the medical. Fortunately, I didn’t have to do 3 month diary but I didn’t get an immediate pass. I think I got through because I hadn’t gone to the doctor when I had it and The pain felt similar to symptoms I read online. So I would recommend that during your medical if you say you’ve had shin splints mention whether or not you saw a doctor; as they could just put it down to just a bad case of aches and pains. But the best thing to do is probably not mention it.


Sep 10, 2018
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I’ve had a long battle with shin splints!
I’ve been to two different Physio don’t think there where that great if I was to go back to a Physio I would definitely try and find a better one just felt there where after my money.
Here a 7 key points what everyone should Be doing and especially those with shin splints or beginners
1 warm up
2 stretch before a run after a run and whenever else u can and do some flexibility work
3 shoes a good pair I tend to alternate between two
4 be consistent with your runs shin splints happen to beginners due to the legs not be ready for such a extreme impacts to your legs..taking long rest between your runs doesn’t help, there next step is in toe with this
5 build up your runs...even start with one run for the first 2 weeks at the start just go for a 20 minute run split up to two 10 minute halves and build up every week by 2 mins example
Week 1 10/10
Week2 11/11
Weeks 3 run1 13/13 run 2 13/13
Two runs a week is more than enough for the first 6 weeks don’t worry about the speed or distance just get the runs done in a comfortable speed.
6 weights mostly functional example front squats trap bar deadlifts glute bridges farmers walk, dB split squats etc 2 weight sessions a weight isn’t more than enough.
7 cardio do other forms of cardio as well to help you build up swimming, rowing, yomps, assault bike aim for 2 runs and 3 other cardio forms of cardio and 2 weight session
These points have help me a lot been running now for other 4 months with no issue at all .. get a good training plan and stick to it.....keep at least 2 rest days between runs at the start,
Or buy a training program I’m using stoic top blokes all ex veterans they know what they’re talking about
Insoles are a good tool as well


Jul 10, 2007
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Just to endorse the thread starter - For goodness sake, don't self-diagnose your ailments - you can stop your career aspirations dead in their tracks.